Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bicycle Tunnels of Surpassing Dryness


The change in color of the pavement is entirely due to water. Also check out the nice lighting.

It's been raining for two days in Scottsdale, yet check out this bicycle tunnel: bone dry. The canal bank up behind me is such a soupy gloppy mess that I rode around it on Tuesday, taking the street detour. I imagine that without proper engineering, without taking into consideration drainage, slope, and landscaping, this tunnel could easily turn into a culvert rushing with rain water on a day like this. Instead, though, the tunnel boffins have built something that stays dry, and I want to even say warm, during and after a downpour.


East end

The grate across this pavement apparently has something to do with it, as well as the gravel on both sides. In addition, a little further along, there is a larger grate that looks like it could handle a larger flow.

Rain diverting, tunnel drying aparatus

Yee-ha, ride 'em tunnel boffin!

I appreciate not only the dry tunnel on my wet commute, but also the display of consumate skill and confidence. The engineers who designed this, and the constructors who built this, probably took a step back when they were done, and knew that based on their planning and thought, this tunnel would stay dry during storms. They knew. They had confidence in their application of principle and construction. 

I even like to imagine that they took pride in the product of their labors, and that part of their pride derived from knowing that they were taking care of the people who would walk and bicycle through this tunnel. Shelter from the storm. Excellent.

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