BUSS: Drain Construction (outflow #9?)
Hazard Level: low
|Main Tunnel Clearance: crouchers and crawlers||Tidal Coverage: at outflow||Known # of Tunnels: ?|
|Hazards: damage from falling|
|Construction Materials: Cement and Plastics, materials of modern drains.|
These are details from an exploration on a bitterly cold night during the winter of '02/'03. Storm drain and road construction had been backing up and detouring traffic on the east side of Bangor as a new drain was laid up the middle of Newbury St. The intersections at Hancock st and State St, two major roadways, were both opened up as the drain had to pass under them. They did the digging in sections, opening up a section of road as long as one tunnel section, and it seemed that they tried to finish it up and have openings covered over before the quite for the night.
We kept an eye on the area until one night, just after they had crossed state street and started digging on Parkview Ave, we found that they had left an open pit that looked promissing. The pit was eight to ten feet deep, with mud walls and a large metal structure set down into it to keep the walls from collapsing down into the work area. the topside was surounded by a plastic orange fence, with a large backhoe sitting on the road, partially inside the enclosed work area. We used the backhoe as cover from traffic, crawling under it and down into the pit. The opening of the tunnel was covered over by a piece of plywood with crushed stones piled half way up its side to keep the board in place. We were able to pull the board out just far enough for Wally to squeeze himself through the opening. The pile of rocks did a remarkable job of keeping the board in place but Wally has always been known for his ability to slither through the smallest of holes.
Because the drain was under construction, it was completely dry. just a few muddy tracks from workers. One thing that was looked a little out of place was the tracks on the wall, from when the section of pipe was laying on the surface. These were mostly tracks from small children (future explorers?) dogs, cats, and other animals. Buckets, a large battery, work-gloves, and laser leveling equipment was left in or near first manhole room. The second manhole room, near the corners Newbury and York st, is where the exploration stopped. Because of the difficulty of crawling in through the tiny space he entered through, Wally wanted to find another way out. This meant either finding a liftable manhole lid, or going all the way down to the outflow. Neither of the lids he passed under were liftable, at least not by someone small enough to squeeze through such tiny places as Wally does... and unfortunately the rest of the tunnel was boarded off by boards that were propped up by 2x4's in such a way that it would not be possible to replace the boards from the other side. We're not sure why he did not continue on anyways, just to see what else was downthere, and replace the boards on his way back out. There is a fairly steep hill going down towards the river on the road above, so the boards could have been placed to keep workers from going down a very long slide. But it was very cold and windy that night, so we don't mind that he returned a bit earlier than expected.
We never did get any other good chances to further explore this while it was under construction. Either nothing was open, or no flashlight, or passing through with all our eqiupment but in the wrong company. During the spring, construction spread up Parkveiw ave, across Chapin Park, and up Forrest Ave; but all the tunnels looked very small.
|Photo of the first section of tunnel. This black plastic envirement feels much different than concrete, brick, or even green plastic tunnels. All of those reflect light, the black seems to absorb it.|
|Photo of the wall. This wall was the floor of the pipe when it was on the ground above. It sat for several weeks and seemed to attract many curious creatures, just as it does now.|
|Photo of stuff left there by workers, who found it exactly the same way the next morning... just an extra set of muddy footprints in the area.|
|Photo of one of the enrances left open near Chapin Park. Sorry, not with the right people at this oppertunity, but at least we hade a camera.|
|Photo Another angle, looking into the shaft shown in the other picture... "NO *****, you are not climbing down into that"|