A huge tunnel that runs under Niagara Falls is now open to the public.
The 2,198-foot tunnel, located six levels beneath a hydro power plant, was built more than a century ago to allow water to pass through, says Marcelo Gruosso, senior director of engineering and operations with the Niagara Parks Commission. The water would turn turbine blades, which generated electricity, he says. "It took thousands of workers four years to excavate the shale beneath the main generating room using lanterns, dynamite, pickaxes and shovels," Gruosso explains. "The tunnel held 71,000 gallons of water that moved at nine meters per second."
The 117-year-old power plant, which has since been decommissioned, has been offering tours for several years -- and now a walk through the underground tunnel is part of the tour, Gruosso says.