A look inside Deep Tunnel, in times of flooding

Chicago’s Deep Tunnel is a massive underground tunnel system that helps protect the region from flooding and wastewater. Beginning in 1975, two generations of workers have helped to build this 100-mile system of tunnels that is not scheduled to be fully completed until 2029.

With the rash of flooding currently happening across the country, we’re reminded of the direct consequences of global warming. As rain and flood patterns change, these tunnels will be crucial for managing excess water. As the world’s climate continues to increase, more water will evaporate into the atmosphere and be released as precipitation. Urban flooding in particular will become a more prevalent issue, and this tunnel system will hopefully combat this flooding.

“The Deep Tunnel” is an impressionistic look at this underground tunnel system and the people and machines who created it. It was produced by Cynthia Neal and aired on Image Union in 1982. Please enjoy this short excerpt.

Watch the full 15 minute piece as aired on Image Union at Media Burn.

Also check out WBEZ’s stunning photographs of the Thornton Reservoir site.



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