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the iconic mailbox

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]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Jul 21, 2014 - 53 comments

it's right under Trader Joes

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."
posted by moonmilk on Feb 7, 2014 - 28 comments

That is not dead which can eternal lie

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.”
posted by Chrysostom on Dec 23, 2013 - 126 comments

The water goes over the bridge; the ship goes through the tunnel.

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 in 1874.
posted by adamvasco on Apr 20, 2013 - 45 comments

Kitten rescued from Citylink tunnel

Kitten rescued from Citylink tunnel. (The Age, with embedded video). That is all.
posted by michswiss on Apr 16, 2013 - 20 comments

The Sea Firefly

Umihotaru 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.
posted by 256 on Oct 2, 2012 - 27 comments

Cutting canyons below Second Avenue

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]
posted by hydrophonic on Aug 2, 2012 - 68 comments

Details given for friendly audience about tactics, mistakes, funding and even entrepreneurial opportuneship.

Interesting details about the tunnel dug for the recent escape of 500 Taliban.
posted by maiamaia on May 16, 2011 - 11 comments

Big Becky has broken through

Big Becky has broken through. [more inside]
posted by sardonyx on May 13, 2011 - 58 comments

Bonkers Bunkers

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.
posted by fontophilic on May 13, 2010 - 124 comments

The Bride Who Crawled Through a Tunnel

"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."
posted by shetterly on Oct 7, 2009 - 14 comments

"Wall up a dozen lawyers at one end and put a good fee at the other."

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.
posted by billypilgrim on Feb 20, 2009 - 18 comments

For Sale: Underground Secret Lair

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 (Photos)
posted by vacapinta on Oct 17, 2008 - 42 comments

Telectroscope

A transatlantic tunnel, hurrah!
posted by Phanx on May 16, 2008 - 43 comments

Tunnel town - Whittier, Alaska

Imagine living in a town, total population 182, further imagine that you and just about all of your neighbors live in just one building. [more inside]
posted by Rafaelloello on Apr 14, 2008 - 24 comments

Building mighty dreams

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 in Bristol 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 or two among others.
posted by infini on Apr 9, 2008 - 34 comments

The subterraneous 5th Duke of Portland

A Brief Biography of William John Cavendish-Bentinck-Scott, 5th Duke of Portland (1800-1879) - keen horseman and 'peculiar to many - but certainly not mad' owner of Welbeck Abbey.
posted by tellurian on Jan 14, 2008 - 4 comments

Tunnels of Love

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.
posted by blahblahblah on Apr 19, 2007 - 29 comments

The burrito tunnel.

"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."
posted by danb on Apr 7, 2007 - 72 comments

Adios, Good-Latimer Tunnel

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. Fortunately, plenty of people have documented the beautiful art that is no longer.
posted by Ufez Jones on Jan 29, 2007 - 30 comments

New York City Water Tunnel No. 3

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 and BLDBLOG 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.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on Jul 29, 2006 - 11 comments

Spelunking for Danger!

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
posted by jonson on Feb 10, 2006 - 59 comments

AK's got a real cool tunnel.

The U.S. Army Permafrost Tunnel provides researchers a unique opportunity to study the composition and behavior of ice structures, ice-saturated soils and frozen bioorganics dating over 40,000 years before present.
posted by breezeway on Apr 5, 2005 - 4 comments

a long line

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 >> )
posted by mudpuppie on Jan 11, 2005 - 11 comments

Tunnel Under Stonehenge?

Archaeologists 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.
posted by Slagman on Mar 21, 2004 - 8 comments

Hole through the earth

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.
posted by batboy on Apr 23, 2003 - 26 comments

Secret Cities

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..."
posted by Snyder on Mar 4, 2003 - 30 comments

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. ;)
posted by brownpau on Sep 3, 2001 - 13 comments


Going on vacation? Why not drive to Russia?

Going on vacation? Why not drive to Russia? This gives new meaning to "closer ties with Russia."
posted by bkdelong on Jan 2, 2001 - 9 comments

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