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Stevens Pass Railroad Tunnels & Switchback System
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Rail Transportation Era: 1900-1909 DateCreated: 1900 Stevens Pass State: WA Zip: 98826 Country: USA Website: Creator: Stevens, John F.

In the years following the Civil War, the land west of the Mississippi River was being settled and the Pacific Northwest explored. There remained, however, a large portion of Montana, Idaho, and Washington that contained enormous quantities of timber and minerals, but was not accessible by rail. By far the most grueling stretch was the Stevens Pass area in the Cascade Mountains.

Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Seattleretro Image Caption: Railroad development in Stevens Pass made accessible a timber and mineral rich region of Montana, Idaho, and Washington. Era_date_from: 1900
Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Tunnel
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Nuclear Era: 1900-1909 DateCreated: 1908 Hudson River New York City to Hoboken State: NY Zip: Country: USA Website: Creator: Haskin, DeWitt Clinton, McAdoo, William G.

A transportation tunnel under the Hudson River connecting Manhattan and New Jersey was first considered in the 1860s, fueled by New York City's rapidly growing congestion and the inadequacy of existing ferry service to population centers across the river. DeWitt Clinton Haskin, an engineer formerly with the Union Pacific Railroad, started the project in 1874 and subsequently endured an extended lawsuit, several failures of the tunnel wall, and an exhaustion of funds before quitting in 1887 with only 1,600 feet completed. 

Image Credit: Courtesy Image Caption: The Hudson and Manhattan tunnel was the first large transportation tunnel constructed under a major river in the United States.. Era_date_from: 1908
Hoosac Tunnel
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Rail Transportation Era: 1850-1859 DateCreated: 1855-1876 North Adams State: MA Zip: 10013 Country: USA Website: Creator: Shanley, Walter and Francis

When first proposed in 1819, the Hoosac Tunnel seemed so logical. It would provide an efficient and direct route for the Boston and Albany Railroad, whose pathway meandered 20 miles along precipitous grades. Early proponents, however, could not have imagined that blasting a 4.75 mile tunnel through the Hoosac Mountain would require over 20 years of labor. The project took so long to complete that it was commonly referred to as "The Great Bore." 

Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Acela2038 Image Caption: The 4.75 mile Hoosac tunnel, which was bored through the Hoosac Mountain, required over 20 years of labor. Era_date_from: 1855
Thames Tunnel
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Tunnels Era: 1840-1849 DateCreated: 1843 Beneath the Thames River London State: Zip: Country: UK Website: Creator: Brunel, Marc Isambard , Brunel, Isambard Kingdom

By the turn of the 19th century, London's streets were clogged with traffic. Over 3,700 passengers used the Thames River's main boat crossing each day, while wagons and carts were forced to cross via the London Bridge, two miles away. Building a bridge would further impede shipping on the already-crowded Thames; a tunnel was the obvious alternative.

The first attempt at a tunnel in the present location began in 1807. The excavation had proceeded only 1,000 feet-using traditional mining methods-when crews reached a layer of quicksand and were forced to stop.

Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Annie Mole (CC BY 2.0) Image Caption: Thames Tunnel Era_date_from: 1843
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