Ten Tunnels of Texas: Some Pretty, Some Odd, Some Bat-Infested

Categories: Texas

Tunnel_of_Love_Title.jpg
Love tunnels not included.
A while back we presented a dozen of the most beautiful bridges in Texas, a state most people don't normally associate with bridges.

They associate it even less with tunnels. Texas isn't exactly a mountainous state, and wherever there's a big outcropping there's generally room enough to go around it.

But you'd be surprised just how many tunnels there are here. Some are in full use, some were never meant for vehicle or rail traffic, but all add a part to underground Texas.

Here are ten:

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10. Clarity Tunnel, near Quitaque
Up in the Panhandle sits what was the last working railroad tunnel in Texas, not counting light-rail-type urban things.

The 742-foot-long tunnel was part of the Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway and is now part of a hiking trail in Caprock Canyons State Park. And yes, there are bats in there in season.



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9. Washburn Tunnel, near Houston
Now here's a tunnel that looks like it could be a relation to famous urban tunnels like the Lincoln or Holland.

The Washburn goes under the Ship Channel between the lovely, bucolic burgs of Galena Park and Pasadena, and its 1950 pump technology made it flood-proof. Until Ike, that is.

The Washburn used to have a sister tunnel, the Baytown, but that was replaced in 1995 by the Fred Hartman Bridge, one of our dozen beauties.




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8. Supercollider, Waxahachie
They built it and no one came.

The Supercollider was supposed to be a $4.4 billion project (just coincidentally in the district of House Speaker Jim Wright), but it ballooned to over $12 billion before Congress pulled the plug.

That left 14 miles of tunnel under Waxahachie. The tunnel, and the support buildings above it, are abandoned but for sale if you have a really great idea on how to use them.

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7 comments
halvorsonjen
halvorsonjen

I drive the Washburn Tunnel almost every day. It is a lovely way to avoid a lot of traffic. Most transplants don't even realize there is a tunnel that goes under the ship channel.

Weatherbyrd
Weatherbyrd

The Old Tunnnel near Fredricksburg is the most interesting.  It could be a setting for a horror movie.  Has all the makings, off the beaten path, bats, old steam train ghosts.  In fact, Stephen King used an old railroad tunnel (without the bats).  Great stuff!

Delhi Hotels
Delhi Hotels

Great post. I have read about Tunnel boring Machine by which deep tunnels are made.

Robert
Robert

(just coincidentally in the district of House Speaker Jim Wright)

Nope. Jim Wright's district never included Waxahachie or Ellis County.

Craigley
Craigley

re. #2 - as I have said before, it's like jocks vs. geeks down there.  geeks walking 4 across while jocks are punching them in the keeneekee.

Corey
Corey

I totally forgot about the tandy subway, cool memories as a kid.. The only other time I've ice skated in Texas short of the Galleria (gack)..

Tunnel Mole
Tunnel Mole

Cool posting! Even if all this undoubtedly is just one big euphemism.

I love the photo of the old train emerging from the Fredricksburg tunnel--what a cheeky little engine!

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