Building the World

Air Bags for Tunnels


MTA 86th Street platform flooded by Sandy, from ABC News at

In the wake of Sandy’s devastation to the New York City subway system, the need for protecting transportation tunnels in the event of disaster has been made a very real issue. Flood control may be one area in which there is a feasible solution. Recently after 5 years of work, a test was done at West Virginia University of an inflatable plug for stopping the flow of water in a flood situation. While this was just a test, it is promising for tunnels large and small. In fact, it offers a possibility for places like the Channel Tunnel, where a leak could lead to a major flood.

For more information on the experiment and other flood control options, please see:


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Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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