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Check Out An Underground Tunnel In Twin Falls

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By Michelle Costa

TWIN FALLS, ID (KMVT-TV) - Did you know there are underground tunnels beneath Twin Falls?

That's right. 49 tunnels lie well below the grounds many of us walk on all the time.

Above ground, it's just an ordinary road, but below ground lays an underground tunnel.

Without knowing where these tunnels are, you would probably never find them so I met up with the Twin Falls Canal Company Manager, Brian Olmstead, to take me on a guided tour.

"About 10 years after they start diverting water on the Twin Falls track, the aquifer was filling up fast. By 1915, there was water coming up onto the fields. They tried trenching. About 1924, they blasted the first tunnel by where the CSI fish hatchery is now and that worked well. You could drain 160 acres with a tunnel so they went full–blast literally into tunnel building. That got the aquifer tamed where the water would go up and down,” said Brian Olmstead, Twin Falls Canal Company.

The tunnels are 100 years old and amazingly most still function.

Water level inside the tunnel currently is low.

During the summer, it's much higher.

The water remains a consistent 58 degrees.

"There's one long one that goes under the City of Twin Falls that starts by St. Luke's hospital and goes to Harrison School about 1 ½ miles. That's the longest one,” said Olmstead.

We're about ¼ of a mile in and this where they would drop the dynamite, only getting about 5 feet further along every day.

What were they looking for? The motherload.

"They changed the angle and went another bit and hit a pocket where the water was really good,” said Olmstead.

As we walk out of the tunnel, we walk by years and years of history, a place that years from now will still exist and people will do the exact same thing I did: take a journey to the past.

If you have any photos from when they were building the tunnels, the Canal Company would love to see them.

Please contact Brian Olmstead with the Twin Falls Canal Company for where to send them.


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