2 votes

Armstrong Tunnel


Photo taken by Greg Hall


BH Photo #131697

Street View 


Tunnel on Dogwood Lane (CR 6/6) in St. Albans
Kanawha County, West Virginia
Open to traffic
Built ca. 1900; Converted to road use ca. 1930
- Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O; CO)
- Coal River & Western Railway
- Pocahontas, Coal River & Kanawha Railway
Total length: 316.0 ft.
Also called
Dogwood Lane Tunnel
Shadyside Tunnel
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.36400, -81.84818   (decimal degrees)
38°21'50" N, 81°50'53" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/425901/4246543 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Alum Creek
680 ft. above sea level
Average daily traffic (as of 1998)
Inventory number
BH 35228 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of July 1999)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • August 6, 2020: Updated by Luke: Added railroad info per historicaerials maps & noted rail-to-road
  • January 5, 2015: Updated by Luke: Added another alt name
  • April 20, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth
  • February 22, 2010: Updated by Joshua Collins: added gps coordinates
  • May 2, 2009: Updated by Greg Hall: added GPS coordinates/elevation


  • Greg Hall - cyclebay [at] aol [dot] com
  • Joshua Collins - Bigjc1979 [at] aol [dot] com
  • Nathan Holth
  • Luke


Armstrong Tunnel
Posted August 7, 2020, by Richard McClintock (trainsasachild [at] gmail [dot] com)

According to the West Virginia Historic Property Inventory Form for the Armstrong Tunnel (apparently the source for the previous comment), it was built by the Pocahontas, Coal River, and Kanawha Railway Company (after 1903 called The Coal River & Western Railway Company). The right of way records indicate that the land was purchased from James T. Armstrong on February 5, 1900. The construction on the tunnel was started sometime in 1900 by an unknown contractor for the railroad. In 1907 the company was sold to C & O. The tunnel was used for the railroad for many years until a new tunnel was constructed some time around 1930, to decrease the grade on the roadbed and to accommodate larger locomotives.

Armstrong Tunnel
Posted August 6, 2020, by Luke

According to https://www.highwaysthroughhistory.com/Content/tunnels/Armst... is was replaced/converted to road use around 1930 for both grade reducing and as you guessed, accommodating the modern+larger locomotives/rolling stock.

Armstrong Tunnel
Posted August 6, 2020, by Richard McClintock (trainsasachild [at] gmail [dot] com)

The aerial view seems to confirm the strong possibility that it was built as a railroad tunnel, since the alignments of the current track and of the Armstrong tunnel route effectively converge not far beyond the ends of the tunnel. Likely the new route and tunnel were built when this bore became too small for modern traffic. Are there any photos of the new tunnel to compare bore sizes?

Armstrong Tunnel
Posted January 5, 2015, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

This looks like a fine place for a submarine race!

Armstrong Tunnel
Posted January 5, 2015, by Michael Miller (michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I too remember the strong Creosote smell in the tunnel from when I lived in St. Albans in the mid 1990s. At that time, the famous TV Evangelist T.D. Jakes lived about a half mile from the tunnel.

I always wondered if it was originally built as a railroad tunnel? There is a CSX tunnel parallel to the Armstrong Tunnel just a very short distance away. Anyone know if this was the case? I have a hard time believing that a vehicular tunnel was constructed in 1900.

CR 6/4 Tunnel
Posted May 22, 2009, by Carolyn Stephens (carolstephe8 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I remember driving through Armstrong Tunnel in the 50s and 60s. The face was the same, basically as the first pictures appear. It was always iffy and you blew your horn as a warning when entering. The smell of creosote was very strong.

CR 6/4 Tunnel
Posted March 20, 2009, by Tom White (Thomas [dot] E [dot] White [at] wv [dot] gov)

After pictures

CR 6/4 Tunnel
Posted August 16, 2008, by Greg and Olivia Hall (cyclebay [at] aol [dot] com)

GPS near north entrance is N38 21.925, W81 50.863, south entrance is N38 21.718, W81 50.863

Road also called Dogwood Lane

We could not enter as construction is underway.Tunnel is curved and one lane, thus the traffic light system.

Photo 1- Looking South

Photo 2- Looking North

Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.