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.
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.
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.