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No, we’re not talking about Whittier, California. This  special spot is Whittier, Alaska. This is the remote, small  town ensconced about 58 miles southeast of the city of  Anchorage. Incorporated in 1969, it’s now known to some  as the “town under one roof.”

A port for the official Alaska Marine Highway, Whittier is  technically accessible by ferry, but the only other way to  get there is via a two-and-a-half-mile-long, single lane  Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. Also known as the  Whittier Tunnel, It’s only 16 feet wide so while it’s rarely if  ever crowded the traffic flows in one direction with that  direction changing every half hour.

Travelers must wait patiently for lights to signal the right  of way. Chosen and constructed in 1943, and originally  designed for trains, it was used to transport supplies from  the deep-water base of Whittier to Bear Valley. More than  six decades later, this pathway through Maynard Mountain  remains the longest highway tunnel on the entire  continent.

In the late 1960s, the federal government turned the little  inlet over to the locals. Residents thought the lengthy,  lonely entrance was in sore need of a makeover. They  gave it a fresh, new coat of concrete and made the steel  rails even with the road to allow both motor vehicles and  trains to use the tunnel.

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