Prince William Sound Historic Park or Site
Historic Park or Site
In 1943, The Army Corps of Engineers built a monument commemorating the effort of building the 2.5 mile long tunnel through the solid rock of Maynard to realize the vision of Whittier as a year-round ice-free port. The monument was recently restored in a new location with the original plaque.
The area of Whittier has long served as passage between Prince William Sound and Turnagain Arm. The Alaska Engineering Expedition envisioned a rail line out to this largely unsettled area back in 1914, but it was the U.S. Army that made Whittier where and what it is.
This railroad tunnel was hand-cut starting in 1905. Nine companies were battling to take advantage of the short route from the coast to copper country. Progress on the tunnel was interrupted and after a gun battle, construction halted and the tunnel was never finished. You can read about the tunnel and these events in Rex Beach’s novel, The Iron Trail.