Stretching 57km (35mi) under the Swiss Alps, the Gotthard Base Tunnel
officially became the world's longest and deepest active tunnel when it opened for service earlier today
, completing a critical link in Europe's rail network. The tunnel's completion was commemorated by an extravagant ceremony
and interpretive dance
. [The last two links may be NSFW]
is a 70 ish mile railway currently being built right through the centre of London. Take drone flight through some of the tunnels and watch the giant mechanical Shai Halud chomp through walls.
Eighty years ago, New York City needed another tunnel under the Hudson River. The Holland Tunnel and the George Washington Bridge could no longer handle the mounting traffic between New Jersey and Manhattan. Thus began construction of the Lincoln Tunnel.
But this is not a story about the Lincoln Tunnel. This is about the men who made it. The Sandhogs
Maclean's magazine has an extended profile of Elton McDonald, Toronto tunnel builder
, a sweet kid in a rough neighbourhood who "'was getting away from regular things, away from life,' he says. 'Nothing in particular. Just life itself.'".
It was his fifth try at building underground, and it would take toil, determination and the better part of two years to get it done. It took pursuing a kid’s dream into adulthood. And in the end, even Elton’s father, a farmer in Black River, Jamaica, whom Elton has not seen in many years, had heard of that tunnel. "He didn’t know it was me," Elton says. "He’s proud. He thinks it’s cool."
"In 1914, a four-block-long tunnel was constructed through College Hill in Providence, Rhode Island to let the trolley system easily and quickly move from Main Street to Thayer Street
and vice versa. After 34 years of use, it was paved to support buses and trackless trolleys. Though the trolley system was taken apart after about a decade, the tunnel continues to provide a portal for Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) buses to get up and down College Hill without being affected by traffic — but that is not the only purpose the tunnel serves. Despite several messages by the tunnel’s entrances warning passersby of the illegality of doing so, graffiti writers frequent the tunnel to spread their paint on its walls. I followed suit on two occasions to document it for others."
The land of fjords, trolls and vikings
is a nation of 5 million people, and snow
. Photographers like it
, as do jumpers
. Norway is pretty
and has a long coastline
due to the lovely crinkly edges
, making it nice to sail in
. There are islands such as the Lofoten archipelago
, long train
train journeys, the Northern Lights
, ferry journeys that last 134 hours
, road tunnels
, more Aurora Borealis
, some skiing
, cosy hotels
, long walks
. And the Aurora
. Their tourist board has an unfair advantage
. Camping is nice
, either with other people
or on your own
. Svalbard is quite north
. Did we mention the scenery
In 1915, dissatisfied with the many competing designs for rural mailboxes, the US Post Office Department decided to specify its own box
. The result, designed by postal engineer Roy Joroleman, was the iconic tunnel mailbox
. Unpatented and easily manufacturable, it would be become ubiquitous
along America's roadsides and would often serve as a blank canvas for homeowners' artistic expression
. [more inside]
How an obsessed explorer found and lost the world's oldest subway.
"The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel was sealed in 1861, shortly after Brooklyn banned steam locomotives within city limits. Legend has it that the tunnel was reopened in the 1920s when it was used for mushroom growing and bootlegging, and in the 1940s when the FBI opened it looking for Nazis. But soon after, it was lost. In the 1950s two historians attempted to find it and failed."
Something unknown, engineers say — and all the more intriguing to many residents for being unknown — has blocked the progress of the biggest-diameter tunnel-boring machine in use on the planet, a high-tech, largely automated wonder called Bertha. At five stories high with a crew of 20, the cigar-shaped behemoth was grinding away underground on a two-mile-long, $3.1 billion highway tunnel under the city’s waterfront on Dec. 6 when it encountered something in its path that managers still simply refer to as “the object.”
Waterbridges are old hat.
Norwegians are now intending to build a ship tunnel
; of course there were critics
The idea for the Stad ship tunnel was first mooted
Kitten rescued from Citylink tunnel.
(The Age, with embedded video). That is all.
is an artificial island on the Tokyo Bay Aqualine that has had to reinvent itself as a tourist trap
to justify the continued maintenance of a little-used bridge-tunnel crossing.
The upcoming New York Times Magazine cover story
is about the excavation of the Second Avenue Subway
line below the East Side of Manhattan. It features some stunning photography
and a video
that explains how the work is done. [more inside]
A man in East Austin, Tx was removed from his home after it was discovered that he had been digging bunkers under his home
, some which were 35ft at the deepest, and included two sub-levels
tall enough for adults to stand in comfortably. Though his motives are unknown, many handguns and rifles were also removed from the home, and he as been very cooperative with city investigators.
"Gaza Love Story: The Bride Who Crawled Through a Tunnel"
"He lived in the Gaza Strip, she in the West Bank. It seemed as though the Israeli blockade would prevent their marriage. Then May risked her life to crawl through a smugglers' tunnel into Gaza and join Mohammed. Now they face an uncertain future together."
Into the black.
At nearly five miles, it's the longest transportation tunnel
east of the Rockies. Built in 1874, its construction
took 200 lives, nearly bankrupted the state of Massachusetts
, and served as a crucible for modern engineering. Journey into the Hoosac Tunnel
, urban exploration destination
and the most haunted place in New England
In the 1940's the British Government set about creating eight deep level shelters
underneath central London. Now, one of them
is up for sale
Imagine living in a town, total population 182
, further imagine that you and just about all of your neighbors live in just
. [more inside]
Today is the 202nd birthday of Isambard Kingdom Brunel
, one of the world's greatest engineers
and a personal hero. I gaped at the Clifton Suspension Bridge
when the shock of recognition
dawned on my jetlagged brain. This was the man that laid the foundation
for Britain's global economic might, built the first underwater
tunnel, Paddington Station
and inspired engineers
everywhere. His legacy lives on
in his works, a university
, a museum
Massive tunnels for peace. Russia is considering building a tunnel
under the Bering Strait that would include pipelines, high-speed rails, and a highway, though earlier plans
have not gotten far, at least for the last ten millennia
. Another large tunnel project under consideration
that hopes to encourage mutual understanding is the Red-Dead Canal
, which would irrigate the deserts of Jordan and Israel, generate electricity, and refill the Dead Sea
using water flowing from the Red Sea to the lowest point on Earth.
"As the 30th anniversary of the Alameda-Weehawken burrito tunnel approaches,
it’s worth taking a look at the remarkable sequence of events that takes place between the time we click 'deliver' on the burrito.nyc.us.gov website and the moment that our hot El Farolito burrito arrives in the lunchroom with its satisfying pneumatic hiss."
Dallas is just a little less funky now. warning: Poorly edited YouTube, but pertinent - bear with me. Not a surprise
, but one of Dallas's greatest landmarks is no longer
, plenty of
people have documented
the beautiful art
that is no longer
New York City Water Tunnel No. 3
has been under construction since 1970 and completion is expected in 2020. (Be sure to click the sidebars.)
City Water Tunnels Nos. 1 and 2 have been operating continuously since 1917 and 1936, and currently cannot be shut down for repair without disrupting the city's water supply. Popular Mechanics
have articles, Newsday
has photos, and 60 Minutes
has an article with video. Local paper The Villager
covers the construction of one of the many shafts that connect to the tunnel. It has inspired a one-woman show
. The Sandhog Project
covers the workers, called "Sandhogs," with photos, sound, and video. Over twenty sandhogs died building the tunnel.
I never thought a string of videos of car accidents taken from automatic tunnel cameras in metropolitan tunnels would make for compelling viewing. But it turns out you learn something new every day
. warning - embedded video on page contains horrible dance music
Some stories are longer than others.
In the early 1900s, Burro Schmidt
spent 32 years (or 38, depending on your source) digging a 1/2-mile tunnel
through a Mojave mountain. Why? Because it was easier than hauling his gold and his burros down the back road.
"Solely, he labored long days.... The tunnel was solid granite, which needed no shoring, except at the entrance to the tunnel. Being at 4200 foot elevation there was a shortage of oxygen, making his labor even more difficult. He was trapped many times by falling rock and injured as many times."
(But the story doesn't end with him. More >>
are denouncing plans for a tunnel under Stonehenge.
It's not the idea of the tunnel itself that is drawing fire, so much as the execution. The govt seems to be doing it on the cheap, in a way that won't solve the problem of the modern world intruding on the prehistoric megalith.
Have you ever wondered...
Just how long would it take to travel through a theoretical hole
to the other side of the earth? Apparently 42 minutes.
Hints of a secret city beneath Tokyo
Japanese foreign correspondent Shun Akiba says that after examining various maps of Tokyo, and finding large inconsistences, he has found evidence of a huge network of tunnels beneath the city of Tokyo. A large underground city beneath an aboveground one is not unheard of, as Beijing has this one,
but the odd part is, (assuming this story is true,) is that Shun says there has been a coverup and a "...conspiracy to silence [me]," with officials being "...defensive and noncooperative..."
Tired of fighting that suicidal urge to jump the fences into the roiling waters of the Golden Gate whenever you drive across The Bridge?
Well, now you have a choice! Amidst practically no fanfare, the Golden Gate Tunnel has opened, featuring the best in subaquatic transportainment™, and all the donuts you can eat! Remember, folks, Those who know, go below.
Gosh, I haven't been to SF for almost a decade. Things sure have changed. ;)
Going on vacation? Why not drive to Russia?
This gives new meaning to "closer ties with Russia."