Photos: The Impressive 670 Meter Tunnel Under Niagara Falls
On the Canadian side of Niagara Falls there is a tunnel that extends for 670 meters below this natural wonder.
Niagara Falls can be visited from two sides: Canadian and American Niagara Parks. On the first side, there is another surprise that also attracts tourists: a tunnel that extends 670 meters (2198 feet) below the waterfall.
This tunnel was built over a century ago and is a miracle of engineering. It includes all kinds of machines that produce electricity. It was only in July of this year that the tunnel opened to the public on the Canadian side. Niagara Parks Power Station is the name of this construction that adds interest and charm to the falls.
Construction of the plant began on May 23, 1901. Excavation of the well chamber, tail tunnel, cofferdam and pier were part of the first phase of construction. This had to be done simultaneously to ensure that everything worked properly.
As with most major construction projects, there were many companies and skilled workers involved in the construction of this gigantic power plant on a flat rocky terrain. The preliminary construction work took almost four years to complete.
The tunnel leads to the corridors of the old power plant and is approximately 55 meters deep and 670 meters long.
The work was pioneering for its time: it was built to operate within an electric generating station, between 1905 and 2006. The construction harnessed the power of the Niagara River to channel it into generators that helped to give electricity to the region. Buffalo, in upstate New York, was called "City of light". Buffalo earned its nickname when it became the first city to have widespread streetlights in in the late 19th century.
During the walk, visitors can also see a night show, which shows how electricity was produced in those years. The tunnel eventually distributed more than 268,000 liters of water per second. Careful construction planning made the tunnel require maintenance only twice: in the 50s and 90s.