US 6 – Beale’s Cut and Newhall Tunnel

6_smallBeale’s Cut and Newhall Tunnel : Newhall Pass

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Beale’s Cut and approach roadway from the south, before the 1998 landslides.

Beale’s Cut was completed in 1864 by a crew headed by General Edward F. Beale and was 90 feet deep. This was not the first cut here though. General Beale only deepened the 30-foot-deep cut that was dug by General Phineas Banning in 1854. Sadly, in the Spring of 1998, a large slide occurred filling the cut half way.

In 1910, Beale’s Cut was bypassed by a tunnel to the west, along the current alignment of Sierra Highway. This was a narrow tunnel, a mere 17 feet wide, which made for some tight passes.

In 1910, a tunnel was bored by Los Angeles County through what is now a cut. This tunnel was known as the Newhall Tunnel.
In 1910, a tunnel was bored by Los Angeles County through what is now a cut. This tunnel was known as the Newhall Tunnel.
Close up of the tunnel. It was a 17 foot bore and two trucks could not fit in it at the same time.
Close up of the tunnel. It was a 17 foot bore and two trucks could not fit in it at the same time.
1920's view of the north tunnel portal.
1920’s view of the north tunnel portal.
Newhall Tunnel dedication plaque. Probably relocated here in 1939 after the tunnel was removed.
Newhall Tunnel dedication plaque. Probably relocated here in 1939 after the tunnel was removed.
Dedication Plaque.
Dedication Plaque.

newhall_pass_cutsAerial photo taken in 1999 of Newhall Pass. Sierra Highway is to the left, Beale’s Cut in center, and Route 14 to the right. The remains of the old Newhall Refinery can be seen north of the prominent ridgeline in the center of the photo.

Map of the Tunnel and Beale's Cut from 1939.
Map of the Tunnel and Beale’s Cut from 1939.

nhtunnelIt was turned into a cut in 1938 as a part of a major realignment of US 6 as well as to eliminate the bottleneck created by the tunnel. After the tunnel was eliminated, the highway was upgraded to a four lane divided roadway from the US 99 junction to San Fernando Road.

1964 view of the tunnel area, looking southerly.
1964 view of the tunnel area, looking southerly.
Postcard view of US 6 in the 1950's. The 14 Freeway bridges would be directly overhead at this point.
Postcard view of US 6 in the 1950’s. The 14 Freeway bridges would be directly overhead at this point.

Go East on US 6 and North US 99 (1926-1930) to Mojave / Bakersfield

Go West on US 6 and South US 99 (1926-1930) to Los Angeles

Return to US 6 Introduction

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