One Last Honk Through Jefferson Street Tunnels

Published 07/29 2013 10:32PM

Updated 07/30 2013 03:13PM

MORTON - With construction advancing on Interstate 74 in Morton, one of the town's local gems will be no more starting Tuesday.

However, some are taking advantage of one last ride through the Jefferson Street tunnels

Some people have never seen them.

For the many who have -and drive through them on a daily basis, they are a hidden gem.

"You don't see anything like that anywhere," said Morton Mayor Ronald Rainson.

Morton resident Julie Mooberry added, "There arent very many in Illinois."

The Jeffereson Street tunnels in Morton were built when the US government was testing overpasses for the Interstate system.

"As kids, it was always fun to have a hot rod and go through there and shift gears and make a lot of noise," said Mooberry. "Everytime you went through, it was a tradition to honk."

And now, IDOT is reworking the section of Interstate 74 that goes over Jefferson Street. They will not be saving the tunnels.

Mayor Rainson said, "We just hate to see these old traditional things go - I love those old tunnels that were long and dark that you could blow your horn."

But these Morton drivers aren't letting that happen without one last honk.

Mooberry said, "Someone posted on Facebook that the tunnels were going to close, and I put on there, 'Oh, we should have a honking parade.' It just grew from there."

Those wanting one last ride paraded in and out of the tunnels, not once, not twice, but multiple times.

"This is typical of our town," said Rainson. "We got a simple thing - a tunnel we're going to take down without and planning. Look at all the people that show up to make a point of it."

The point that they don't want to see these tunnels go.

IDOT plans to remove the tunnels and build a new bridge.

It will not reopen until Fall of 2014.

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