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Las Vegas' Underground Tunnels

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 25th July 2007 12:21pm
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CNET's news.com's long running "Road Trip" story has rolled into Las Vegas and spent a ton of time exploring the network of underground flood control channels that snake under the Las Vegas Strip.

So, here it is 2007, and there are currently 450 miles of these flood channels in town, including 300 miles underground. [Las Vegas 'City Life' write Matt] O'Brien says that the Las Vegas master plan created in the 1990s calls for around 1,000 miles of them within 20 or 25 years.

Most of the time, the tunnels are relatively dry, largely because it doesn't rain much in Vegas. But when it does, O'Brien says, the water level in the tunnels can rise rapidly, quickly turning into a flash flood. It's not where you'd want to be if such a thing were to happen.

That's why on a pillar deep underground, someone has helpfully spray painted, "In case of flood swim for your f---ing life."

In fact, spray painting--the graffiti kind--is a major element in the tunnels. Everywhere you look there is some kind of graffiti, much of it meaningless and uninteresting. But in some places, it turns into art.

Indeed, one of O'Brien's favorite places in the tunnel that he took me to is called "the art gallery," he says, and it's easy to see why. Everywhere you look, the walls are covered with colorful, artistic tagging, one beautiful image on top of another. On one wall, a lovely figure of a woman is sporting an orange halo. Elsewhere, the tags have more and more flair.

Other stories in the series include: Mirage Mini-Bar Weight Sensors, Many Stages of "Love", Monorail Does NOT Have Wi-Fi and much more.



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