Thursday, April 10, 2008

.....Into the Depths.....

Today, I am scheduled to go on a little field trip under the Kansas River. A new treatment plant will be coming on-line soon that treats water at the Missouri River and a large pipe will deliver it from the Missouri back into Johnson County. To get there, it has to go under the Kansas River.....so a large tunnel was carved into the bedrock underneath the river. A few of us will be lowered down in a cage 125 feet into a hole to get to the tunnel. The tunnel then extends under the river. Here is portions of an email we received....

The Phase V expansion project has progressed to the point that we can allow a limited number of people to tour the tunnel which is being bored with a tunnel boring machine beneath the Kansas River. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but it isn't for everyone! There are approximately 50 spots remaining for the tours. If we receive more requests than that then we will devise a random drawing.

Consider the following carefully before you decide whether you are interested in being included in the tunnel tours:

- Tour begins in a metal cage suspended from a crane which is lowered approx. 125 feet down a vertical shaft approx. 13 feet in diameter.

- The horizontal shaft is only 7-8 feet in diameter and extends approx. 150-250 feet under the river.

- Walking in the shaft may be very treacherous as it is a rough dug tunnel! It will be damp and muddy with steel rails, exposed rock, loose dirt, and other hazards.

- The tunnel may have several inches of standing water, and very deep mud in some places. Rubber boots or shoes you don’t mind getting very dirty are required.

- Work clothes such as jeans, gloves, and boots must be worn.

- All persons entering the shaft must take a confined space training course (30 minutes to an hour).

- All persons entering the shaft will be required to sign a waiver of liability

THIS TOUR IS NOT SUGGESTED FOR ANYONE WITH A FEAR OF HEIGHTS OR TIGHT SPACES!



I have been told that we are going regardless of the weather, so it looks like a green light. I am bringing my camera so hopefully pix will be up soon.

This is where the pipeline goes beneath the river....

lowered in by crane....

looking up from the bottom....

the tunnel.....it stretches about 500 feet right now, carved into solid rock...
...at the end of the tunnel...the machine that cuts through the rock....

2 comments:

Kim said...

Amazing. Very cool!

jenny said...

Holy craaap! You are a brave soul!!