The Barschool Tunnel
This one has been on my list for a long time.  I found it back when Melancholy and I explored the bar school (hence the tunnel's curious name), but there were vagrants camped in the area who made me wary of getting cornered if this turned out to be a dead end.  This isn't the best neighborhood either, so I hadn't been too inclined to go back here and leave my car parked.  However, I got desperate for something else to explore, so Explorer Phil and I finally finished this one off.

Here's the entrance with Phil working his way down a fallen tree into it.

As you can see, it's actually pretty big around once you're inside.

Me still vacillating about whether I want to chance the water being too deep for my boots and getting them filled with liquid coldness.

Fortunately, it wasn't... but just barely.

I came here about a week before this with Erin, and we aborted the plan since it would be over her boots.  It was nearly over mine here, and this is at the side of the tunnel.  In the middle, it would be above my knees.

A turn up ahead!

Just beyond the tunnel, it shallowed quite a bit.

The first time I visited this area, you could walk right into that first part where it was more than a foot deep this time.  Logically, anyone could traverse the entire length of it without getting their feet wet in those conditions.

I'm not sure what the water levels are like normally, but if they are typically lower than this, then they'd make a great home for those without one.  See, tunnels like this = good place for the homeless to set up camp.  It's nice and dry, so they can keep their stuff safe so long as it doesn't rain.

Debris collected at one edge of a water main that crosses through here.

The light at the end of the tunnel.

A closer look.  Notice how it gets square toward the end.

Weird wooden area.  I don't know what to make of this.  Leftover form?  Regardless, why is there a groove here?

C E S 1937.  I wonder if they made it?

The exit.  Or entrance.  Depends.

Back through the square to arched transition on our way downstream again.

Back at the start (or end), Phil probed the depth of a sinkhole just beyond the ledge that ran along the end of the tunnel's slab.  It was pretty deep.

...then we went back through the area where the vagrant(s) used to live, but we didn't see any signs of their camp anymore, maybe because they moved on when winter came.

Phil found half of a jaw bone...

...and a dead piglet.  I have no idea where this came from.  The white thing at the end isn't its tail; it's part of the prolapsed intestines.  Yuck!

This was caught in a shallow spot in the stream where the water passed over a concrete walkway...

...shown here.

Here's the view of the tunnel from it.

And then the walkway leads up to...

...the barschool.

We didn't bother revisiting the place.  Both Phil and I had done it once already and had other places in mind to check out later.

In the news...

Long before I ever got around to returning to actually explore this tunnel, Melancholy forwarded the following news item to me about more death and decay:
Tue, Oct. 10, 2006
Body found inside culvert under U.S. 287

FORT WORTH -- Police are investigating the death of a person found inside a culvert under U.S. 287 near the Riverside Drive exit Monday morning. Lt. Dean Sullivan, police spokesman, said a homeless man apparently discovered the body and told a friend about it. The friend called police shortly before 10 a.m. It took officers almost an hour to locate the body, which was in advanced stages of decomposition, Sullivan said. Homicide Sgt. J.D. Thornton said the body was about 60 to 80 feet inside the culvert. Sullivan said investigators will treat the case as a homicide pending a ruling on the cause of death by the Tarrant County medical examiner's office.

-- Deanna Boyd

Alexplored 4/1/2008.  Some pics by Explorer Phil.
Back to the Index