Subterranean Six-Mile Problem

Damaged tunnels cause power problems for UI [Press-Citizen]

It’s damp. It’s dark. It’s hot, and it’s got a funny smell.

This is the world of the University of Iowa’s subterranean tunnel system — six miles worth. Developed in the 1920s, it runs across campus.


At the peak of flooding, water filled the tunnels to the brink, Creed said. UI was forced to shut the system down.

“You get a water hammer. It would blow up the water pipes, or it could,” Creed said.

UI suspects water penetrated the tunnels from the Iowa River through manholes around the Iowa Memorial Union, he said.

I knew there were alot of tunnels, just not six miles. I also didn’t know what “water hammer” was either. I had to look it up.

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