utility tunnels

I was talking to a friend a few days ago about an idea for utility tunnels running under pavements, so when Nick Ross (in the Daily Express) wrote a piece, which ended with the same idea, I thought I had to show support and detail my own version of the scheme. So I sent this to the letter’s page.

Ross Clark, in his item on roadwork’s, suggests building tunnels to house the utilities’ cables, pipes  etc. and so save on the costs, damage and inconvenience caused by repairs to these services.

I would like to extend this idea by proposing an adaptation involving an idea used for houses.

Here the wiring etc.  is run through hollow skirting boards with removable covers and ready-made channels between rooms.

In the case of Mr. Ross’s tunnels, instead of digging up the road one more time, the tunnels would be placed under the pavements. The pavements would then consist of removable sections that, serving as lids over the tunnels, could be lifted out and replaced with the minimum of cosmetic  damage.

The tremendous waste of materials, manpower and energy associated with such work would disappear. There would no longer be two men digging a hole and then a two week delay until the pipe layers were available, then a two week delay before the repairers could get around to it. Then a two month delay to repair the pothole that has developed.

On Motorways the tunnel could be laid down the central reservation with access shafts, at appropriate junctions, containing inspection buggies, for the engineers, to travel the tunnel.

Lights could be built, with tunnel covers as part of their base, so that, when it came time to replace them , they could be changed as quickly as it takes to change a light bulb.

Other aspects include fitting traffic lights at dangerous crossing points. Whereas, at present, Councils refuse to do this because of the cost of wiring them into the power supply, a tunnel system with a suitable equivalent of socket points, would make such endeavours cheap and speedy.

With new developments being designed to be Green, what could be greener than a system that hugely reduces maintenance and repair costs

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