Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Don't Say "Tunnel", Say "Bobby Hopper Tunnel"


Have you ever noticed something for the first time even though you've passed by it possibly a hundred times?
Well, that's not quite the case here, but it's something I've been reminding myself to do yet never remember:

After all these years, I finally got some photos of the Bobby Hopper Tunnel along I-540. HOW many times have I passed it, but never stopped? Too many. So recently, I finally stopped.
A Brief History
Courtesy of ATHD: "Lying over 220 feet below the top of the Boston Mountain, construction was begun at both ends of the tunnel in August 1996 and the two ends connected in March of 1997. The tunnel was built as part of the US 71 Relocation Project" (later to be designated I-540). It was decided by AHTD to build a tunnel though the mountain as opposed to shearing off the mountain in an effort to maintain the natural beauty of the surrounding area. a Construction was completed in December of 1999.  The finished size of the tunnels is 25 feet tall (as measured from the roadway to the top of the tunnel arch), 1600 feet long and 38 feet wide. 

The tunnel was named for then Arkansas Highway Commissioner Bobby Hopper, a longtime resident of Springdale. 

I remember as I was growing up hearing radio ads for Bobby Hopper Ford. The tagline was always "Don't Say "Ford", Say "Bobby Hopper Ford". Funny how something like that sticks in your mind.

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