Providence Underground part 2

The month of December started with a trip into the newest Narragansett Bay Commission CSO tunnel being made under Providence. Part of the Phase 2 construction. A few years ago I was documenting  Phase 1:  a 3 mile long 30′ wide tunnel under downtown Providence that took 7 years to build.

Phase 1 Breakthrough Day

Phase 1 Breakthrough Day: The Construction Crew Poses for a Photograph Infront of the 30′ Head of the Boring Machine

It has been called the biggest construction project in the city that no sees. “Rome was not built in a day” comes to mind.

The Phase 2 construction is a series of smaller tunnels being built to feed the larger main tunnel. One of the new sections follows the Woonasquatucket River through Olneyville and the Valley Street section of Providence.  We are in a steel cage being dropped 205ft . Once inside we walk about a 1/4 mile in the tunnel through solid rock. Water is constantly dripping from overhead. It is seeping out of the rock. In many places it literally flows out of the rock.

We are lowered in a steel cage 175 feet

We are lowered in a steel cage 175 feet

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VIP tour with Governor Chafee (left) and Ray Marshall the Executive Director of the Narragansett Bay Commision

VIP tour with Governor Chafee (left) and Ray Marshall the Executive Director of the Narragansett Bay Commission

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This section is a 1/4 mile long.

Blasting away. Small holes are drilled to hold dynamite.

Blasting away. Small holes are drilled to hold dynamite.

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