Currently a third tunnel is being built and apparently it's "the largest construction project in New York history". The project was begun in 1970 and won't finish until 2020. It cost 6 billion. When the third tunnel comes online, it will allow for the other two tunnels to be shut down for repairs for the first time in their history. Scenes from Die Hard were filmed in Tunnel 3.
This is big, long-term stuff folks. Makes me feel kind of proud of civilization.
3 men per mile died digging tunnel number 1 - 25% of the workers.
>Generations of sandhogs have accepted anonymity and danger as part of the job: 25 percent of those working on a tunnel in 1890 lost their lives; during a three-year stretch excavating Tunnel No. 2, 60 died. That’s three men for every mile of tunnel. Although the introduction in 1970 of a 13,200-volt pneumatic drill that sinks 10-foot holes into the rock has reduced the dangers facing the sandhogs, excavation of the first 25 miles of City Water Tunnel No. 3 cost the lives of 23 workers.
The divers have to go so deep they need to live in helium tanks for more than a month, to make sure that their blood is sufficiently saturated with the gas. The helium is the only way they can dive deep enough, and yes, it does make their voices high pitched the entire time they are in there.
Also, someone mentioned "garbage" being underground citizen. I think that's wrong. While we have water, electricity and sewage running underground, the fact that garbage is not a part of this rail is really dissapointing. If you live upper west side, try to walk some broadway on a very hot day, before Thursday's garbage pickup. Your eyes will run wet from all the stink from garbage mountains packed everywhere. Literally there are streets where kids are forbidden to be outside because of all the smell and I assume airborne crap. Note, of course you won't see it downtown (the tourist area) where trash is picked up every day. Why there is no major garbage shute system across the city, no idea...
It's true. Roosevelt Island has an underground network of "trash-sucking tubes".
Compare this to the ~$10 billion for the California High Speed Rail project, which doesn't seem nearly as important as this NYC project.
Have you ever been trapped in traffic on the grapevine for 4 hours trying to get to/from LA? Or shelled out $300 for an hour flight to SFO? Its maddening.
I drink water out of the tap here in NYC and it tastes great.
California rail is a crisis, the water supply to NYC is not.
A rail system is well and good, but you can at least take a car or bus if you need to. If your water infrastructure stops working, there aren't many other games in town.
Right, but it should be the primary factor on whether to undertake it or not.
The article was syndicated in his book, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, which is worth a read.
I can't help but be in awe.
Like within a meter versus dozens of meters.
Google something like:
Edit: Horrible formatting job, and to say that Pine trees were the worst offenders in our area.
Palm trees for examples have deep root structures and small canopies which is how they survive the strong tropical winds.
I believe the point of this rabbit trail was to correct that notion that root formations are mirrors (or otherwise similar) of the tree trunks/canopies. At least, that's what I was hoping to show.
Most interesting thing in my opinion is how roots serve the part of the tree that they're on. If left roots die, left side of tree may die too.
And if you like that, you'll REALLY love Brian Hayes' Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape (http://www.amazon.com/Infrastructure-Field-Guide-Industrial-...). It's porn for people who like to try to figure out what the random towers in a chemical plant do, or how the electrical station you just passed on the interstate works.
Tangential, but that phrasing reminds me of this article: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3390719
I'm not 100% sure why it's that deep (and can't seem to find a solid explanation). What I can glean suggests that it's partly due to wanting it to be in more geologically stable bedrock that passes below any bodies of water and geological aberrations in the area. And partly so that it can be fed by gravity along a continual downwards slope, which causes it to be fairly deep by the end (then at the end the tunnel narrows, increasing pressure sufficiently to push water up a vertical shaft to the surface distribution network).
"[New York City Water Tunnel No. 3] was authorized in 1954. A third tunnel was needed so tunnel one and tunnel two could be closed for repairs. Stage One was begun in 1970 and completed in 1993 and put into service in 1998."
This seems to imply that the later stages of the old two tunnels have never seen repairs.
My uncle worked briefly on the project in the 60's but its very much active
I read an article, some years ago, about the problems of getting subterranean tunnels at a depth greater than 100 foot approved. As part of the process the plans get submitted to the security services, who then say "yes" or "no"; and you only get three attempts. I can't find the article (or anything similar) so maybe it's just myth.
The Moscow subways are beautiful, but when I went (April '86) you were not allowed to take any photographs.
I'm fascinated by the complex networks of public tunnels, secret tunnels, and abandoned tunnels.
Next to all the granite and marble, large bulkhead doors can be seen in many passages there. Currently all are open and not very visible, but certainly intended to insulate stations in a case of emergency, such as a nuclear attack.
If there would be a leak in sewage, the biggest problem would be ground water getting into the sewage tunnel, and flooding the water treatment plant. There is probably larger pressure in ground water than in the sewage. Ground water pressure drop can also make foundations of buildings to get looser, so they try to monitor leaks to the sewage (little leaking is btw quite common in older ceramic/concrete pipes).
Sewage system works by gravity. That makes it sometimes really difficult for positioning the pipes. They must have either 2 - 7 % slope or they must be vertical. Uphill inside a sewage tube will gather all the shit and get stuck. With more than 7% slope the water runs too fast away from the pipe and leaves the shit behind, so again it will get stuck eventually.
PS. I used to study civil.
Oddly they've taken out the (c) 1997 part, maybe to make it not seem as ancient? I suppose it's still reasonably relevant; not much of this basic information has changed. Heck, Water Tunnel #3 is still under construction.
> © 1996- National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.
So is it safe to guess it's from 1996 or later?
Still cool to see how engaging you can make a site using 10-15 year old technology. Content is king.
Of course no mention of "Beauty and the Beast"  which took place in a pretty fanciful world under New York city.
Given the expense these days of tunneling I wonder if we've reached a peak of complexity underground for now.
 Actually only the parts between San Jose and Palo Alto but it was the imagery not the accuracy they were going for.
Tv, gas and power can be digged relatively shallow and I have not hear of maintenance tunnels for them when there is no solid rock to deal with.
With sewers they usually put vertical wells to it in every corner. That makes the whole system more accessible.
Often they put empty plastic tubes to new buildings just in case. It's not very hard to get something crawling there when new Internet comes to house.
Its a timeless page.
"On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity. "
(I just posted this.)