Mobile County

What's Working: Touring underneath the Wallace Tunnel

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) - In tonight's What's Working, News 5 is giving you a rare glimpse inside a Gulf Coast landmark that you have probably driven through dozens of times. We tagged along, as a local class of 4th graders toured below the Wallace Tunnel. The Alabama Department of Transportation has been leading these tours for over a decade.

ALDOT Civil Engineer, Jason Nguyen, led  St. Ignatius School 4th graders on the tour below the tunnel. The students were taken several stories below ground. Some described going down several flights of stairs as "scary." Nguyen says kids and adults are always fascinated to learn about what's under the tunnel. At the deepest point, it's forty-seven feet below the surface of the Mobile River.

"You aren't just driving through a tube. There is this whole underground infrastructure. You have ventilation, pumps, fans, generators, power backups. There is so much involved," Nguyen said.

The students tell News 5 they will never think about the tunnel the same way again, now that they know what's under it.

Student Dominic Paragone said, "I have gone through the tunnel, but I never knew there was all this stuff under there. I didn't know how we got air. It surprised me."

Student Lillian Nagy was surprised too. "I never knew it was so cool down there."

Fourth-grader Sam Hecker said the tour was eye-opening. "I was surprised it was 47 feet down, and there was a $40,000 fan down there."

St. Ignatius teachers said they were grateful to the Alabama Department of Transportation for hosting the tour.

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