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Tunnels

Union Canal Tunnel
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Tunnels Era: 1800-1829 DateCreated: 1828 Union Canal Lebanon State: PA Zip: Country: USA Website: http://www.asce.org/Project/Union-Canal-Tunnel/ Creator: Ives, John

According to oral history, George Washington visited the canal diggings in 1792, and then again in 1794, while he was accompanying troops to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in Western Pennsylvania. 

YearAdded:
1970
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Ospreye (CC BY 2.0) Image Caption: Union Canal Tunnel Era_date_from: 1828
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: http://www.asce.org/Project/Thames-Tunnel/ 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.

YearAdded:
1991
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Annie Mole (CC BY 2.0) Image Caption: Thames Tunnel Era_date_from: 1843
St. Clair Tunnel
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Tunnels Era: 1890-1899 DateCreated: 1891 Beneath the St. Clair River Sarnia State: ON Zip: N7T 8G8 Country: Canada Website: http://www.asce.org/Project/St--Clair-Tunnel/ Creator: Hobson, Joseph , Beach, Alfred

A Day's Pay According to tunnel records, the following pay rates were established for the 600-700 laborers required for this project: 

YearAdded:
1991
Image Credit: Public Domain Image Caption: Postcard of the west end St. Clair River Tunnel in Port Huron, Michigan, United States. Era_date_from: 1891
Moffat Tunnel
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Tunnels, Water Supply & Control Era: 1920-1929 DateCreated: 1928 Thru the Continental Divide Nederland State: CO Zip: 80466 Country: USA Website: http://www.asce.org/Project/Moffat-Tunnel/ Creator: Moffat, David , Moffat Tunnel Improvement District

Known as "the highest and lowest holing in history," the tunnel bored through the Rockies at an elevation of 9,200 feet, 2,800 feet below the surface. Eight hundred men worked around the clock for 3 1/2 years, moving 3 billion pounds of rock. 

YearAdded:
1979
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Bradley Gordon (CC BY 2.0) Image Caption: Moffat Tunnel Era_date_from: 1928
Gunnison Tunnel
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Tunnels Era: 1900-1909 DateCreated: 1909 Montrose State: CO Zip: Country: USA Website: http://www.asce.org/Project/Gunnison-Tunnel/ Creator: Bureau of Reclamation

At its completion, the 5.8-mile Gunnison Tunnel under western Colorado's Vernal Mesa was the longest irrigation tunnel in America. It carried water from the Gunnison River to the Uncompahgre Valley to irrigate 146,000 acres of cropland. 

Work on the 30,582-foot tunnel was first performed manually. Adverse geological conditions provided great challenge for this pioneering project. The drilling crews had to deal with clay, sand, shale, and a badly fractured fault zone. 

YearAdded:
1972
Image Credit: Public Domain; Produced prior to 1/1/1923 Image Caption: Gunnison Tunnel Era_date_from: 1909
Detroit-Windsor Tunnel
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Tunnels Era: 1930-1939 DateCreated: 1930 -Windsor Tunnel Detroit State: MI Zip: 48226 Country: USA Website: http://www.asce.org/project/Detroit-Windsor-Tunnel/ Creator: Value, Burnside, Thoresen, Søren Anton

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is a 5,160-foot structure that carries traffic under the Detroit River between Detroit, Michigan and Ontario, Canada. Privately financed, built, and owned, it was completed in 26 months, 10 months ahead of schedule. 

YearAdded:
1982
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Brian Rawson-Ketchum (CC BY-SA 2.0) Image Caption: Detroit-Windsor Tunnel Era_date_from: 1930
Crozet's Blue Ridge Tunnel
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Roads & Rails, Transportation, Tunnels Era: 1850-1859 DateCreated: 1858 Blue Ridge Railroad Waynesboro State: VA Zip: 22980 Country: USA Website: http://www.asce.org/People-and-Projects/Projects/Landmarks/Crozet-s-Blue-Ridge-Tunnel/ Creator: Crozet, Claudius

One of four single-track tunnels built by the Blue Ridge Railroad, the 4,273-foot Crozet Tunnel was constructed at a time when hand drills, pickaxes, and black powder amounted to state-of-the-art tunneling technology. At the time of its completion, it was the longest railroad tunnel in the world. Envisioned and built by Claudius Crozet, a French-born educator and civil engineer, the tunnel remains a testament to his belief in advancing rail transportation even when faced with numerous difficulties. 

YearAdded:
1976
Image Credit: Public Domain (National Park Service) Image Caption: Crozet's Blue Ridge Tunnel Era_date_from: 1858
Montgomery Bell's Tunnel
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Tunnels Era: 1800-1829 DateCreated: 1818 Harpeth River State Park Kingston Springs State: TN Zip: 37082 Country: USA Website: http://www.asce.org/Project/Montgomery-Bell-s-Tunnel/ Creator: Bell, Montgomery

Montogomery Bell was a land developer and iron maker who purchased the Harpeth Narrows site to expand his industrial empire - which ultimately consisted of 14 iron blast furnaces throughout middle Tennessee.

The Harpeth River makes a tight bend around a steep limestone ridge, losing 17 feet of elevation in a run of 5 1/2 miles. Bell excavated a tunnel through the limestone ridge, creating a shortcut for the river. The hydropower derived from this drop in elevation was used to drive the Patterson Iron Works built by Bell.

YearAdded:
1981
Image Credit: Public Domain (Author's Choice) Image Caption: Montgomery Bell's Tunnel Era_date_from: 1818
Holland Tunnel
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Tunnels Era: 1920-1929 DateCreated: 1927 Hudson River Jersey City State: NJ Zip: 07310 Country: USA Website: http://www.asce.org/Project/Holland-Tunnel/ Creator: Holland, Clifford

The 1.6-mile Holland Tunnel was the first underwater vehicular crossing of the Hudson River and the first tunnel specifically designed for automobiles and trucks. It dramatically reduced the time required to traverse the Hudson River, a trip previously possible only by ferry. 

A major difficulty when tunneling beneath a river is to keep water and mud from inundating the workers and equipment in the tunnel. Builders of the Holland Tunnel used a shield that enveloped the work site as the excavation progressed; this also avoided obstruction of shipping traffic during construction.

YearAdded:
1982
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Chris Leung (CC BY-SA 2.0) Image Caption: Holland Tunnel Era_date_from: 1927
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Innovations

Holland Tunnel

The 1.6-mile Holland Tunnel was the first underwater vehicular crossing of the Hudson River and the first tunnel specifically designed for automobiles and trucks. It dramatically reduced the time required to traverse the Hudson River, a trip previously possible only by ferry. 

A major…

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Montgomery Bell's Tunnel

Montogomery Bell was a land developer and iron maker who purchased the Harpeth Narrows site to expand his industrial empire - which ultimately consisted of 14 iron blast furnaces throughout middle Tennessee.

The Harpeth River makes a tight bend around a steep limestone ridge, losing 17…

Read More
Crozet's Blue Ridge Tunnel

One of four single-track tunnels built by the Blue Ridge Railroad, the 4,273-foot Crozet Tunnel was constructed at a time when hand drills, pickaxes, and black powder amounted to state-of-the-art tunneling technology. At the time of its completion, it was the longest railroad tunnel in the…

Read More
Detroit-Windsor Tunnel

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is a 5,160-foot structure that carries traffic under the Detroit River between Detroit, Michigan and Ontario, Canada. Privately financed, built, and owned, it was completed in 26 months, 10 months ahead of schedule. 

The project's engineer, the firm of…

Read More
Gunnison Tunnel

At its completion, the 5.8-mile Gunnison Tunnel under western Colorado's Vernal Mesa was the longest irrigation tunnel in America. It carried water from the Gunnison River to the Uncompahgre Valley to irrigate 146,000 acres of cropland. 

Work on the 30,582-foot tunnel was first performed…

Read More
Moffat Tunnel

Known as "the highest and lowest holing in history," the tunnel bored through the Rockies at an elevation of 9,200 feet, 2,800 feet below the surface. Eight hundred men worked around the clock for 3 1/2 years, moving 3 billion pounds of rock. 

Three thousand feet under the Continental…

Read More
St. Clair Tunnel

A Day's Pay According to tunnel records, the following pay rates were established for the 600-700 laborers required for this project: 

  1. 17.5 cents per hour for diggers 
  2. 15 cents per hour for erectors 
  3. 12.5 cents per hour for others 
  4. One additional dollar…
Read More
Thames Tunnel

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…

Read More
Union Canal Tunnel

According to oral history, George Washington visited the canal diggings in 1792, and then again in 1794, while he was accompanying troops to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in Western Pennsylvania. 

The Union Canal Tunnel was a crucial structure allowing the connection of the eastern and…

Read More

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