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Seattle's Great Northern Tunnel Turns 110

SEATTLE -- This month the Great Northern Tunnel, which runs through the heart of the city of Seattle, turns 110 years old. Back in the fall of 1904, when it was finished, the mile-long tunnel was the tallest and widest in the United States.

The Great Northern Tunnel took a year and a half to build and cost $1.5 million back in 1904.

That’s about $38 million today.

EarthFix's Ashley Ahearn visited the tunnel with Michael Sullivan, a local historian and principle of , to learn how the Great Northern Tunnel was built.

"People love tunnels," Sullivan said. "There’s a mystery about a tunnel. There’s something about your journey going black for a minute, you know, and waiting to come out of the tunnel. There’s an aspect of the underworld to it. Somewhere you don’t normally belong."

Click play to hear more about the night and day shifts that punched through the earth more than a century ago.

Copyright 2020 EarthFix. To see more, visit .

Historian Michael Sullivan stands at the southern entrance to Seattle's Great Northern Tunnel.
Ashley Ahearn /
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Historian Michael Sullivan stands at the southern entrance to Seattle's Great Northern Tunnel.

Ashley Ahearn