The Chromosome Tunnel
You'll have to wait for an explanation about the name of this tunnel.  It only becomes evident as you travel further upstream.

My friend Ben had previously discovered this system, but hadn't explored it yet.  He told me about it, and it stayed on my "to do" list for a while.  Then I get a call from Rick, a reporter for the Dallas Observer, who wanted to see just what this UrbEx business was all about.  Do I have a tunnel I could show him?  Sure!  Let's check out this one...

The exploration of this tunnel was featured in this article from the Observer.  See also my observations on the Observer article.



There are actually two of these tunnel entrances about 50 feet or so apart from one another.  This is the one on the left.  Just in case you're lost already.

As usual, the tunnel design changed rapidly.  We started off with the domed archway seen above, then switched over to a larger, square tunnel, then (behind me) we started into this other arched shape common throughout Dallas tunnels.

The tunnel continued this size for about a third of a mile (I managed to get a GPS reading a little past here).

Here I am waiting for Charlie Brown to run up and kick the air as I snatch the ball away.

Actually, we found the ball (another donation for Goodwill).

Unfortunately, at this point the ceiling was just under 4' high, so it was a bit of a back-breaker.  We continued for a bit, but I didn't want to burn Rick on tunnels his first time out.  We just doubled back.


Just inside the second tunnel was this inlet about 3' high.  What was emptying into the tunnel right here was apparently the contents of a busted septic tank or other sewer line.

As soon as we approached the entrance to this tunnel, we started to smell the stench.  Thankfully, we didn't have to go too far upstream before we got past the smell.


The tunnel dropped down a bit right here.  Oddly enough, this meant that the water from the tunnel Rick is standing in was draining into the parallel tunnel through a pair of holes close to the floor (see the bottom right of the 2nd pic above).

Further upstream, the tunnel actually widened out.  This is looking back downstream.  The "iris" of the image is a concrete collar that expanded the tunnel outward from the 6' to ~8' diameter ...even though we were heading upstream (we're looking backwards here... like we're crawfish or something).

Just a view up to a manhole.  Even though we had gone "uphill" at this point, we were deeper below the surface (only ~10') than earlier on.

Most of the manholes we passed seemed to be in the middle of fast-moving traffic, so we couldn't easily "pop up" for a view.  (Not that we attempt this terribly often, mind you.)


Continue to Part II