| Tunnel No. 3 is 3 miles from Norwalk and 8
miles from Sparta. It is 3,810 feet long and was completed in 1873 after three years of
digging. It cost $247,272 to build or $65 per foot which was much more expensive than the
other two tunnels.
This tunnel was so long that
workers dug two long, deep shafts from above to help remove rock, in addition to digging
from both ends. These shafts were later sealed with bricks. Workers struck an overhead
spring which kept the tunnel wet and difficult to excavate. Today the ceilings and walls
still drip with water and provide cool relief on a hot day.
This is the entrance to tunnel No. 3. Pictured are the Hawkins family
from Piedmont, South Carolina.
Flashlights and jackets are recommended when walking
bikes through the tunnels.
Heavy rainfalls caused serious erosion problems in the
deep valley above the entrance of this tunnel. To solve this problem, railroad crews built
this massive stone diversion ditch called a flume between 1907 and 1909. This flume
extends up the valley for about one-quarter of a mile and still serves as an important
soil and water conservation device. Now, the contained water causes less erosion as it
flows through Moore Creek to the Tri-Creek Watershed flood control dam.
Flood Control Project