worksongs : photography
04/24/08 — Horseshoe Falls


The Adams station discharge tunnel is essentially the grandaddy of the three that were constructed around Niagara Falls. Built over the course of three years in the early 1890s, it was the first of its kind in the world, pre-dating the other two by close to a decade. The tunnel runs for a mile and a half underneath the city of Niagara Falls, NY to the wheelpits of two powerhouses situated upstream of the Falls, both of which were demolished back in the 1960s. Only the station's transformer house, a couple of foundations and a few other underground components still exist today.

Kowalski and I always considered this tunntl eto be unexplorable due to a torrent of water coming out of it that appeared to be too dangerous to walk through. A wastewater treatment plant located at the start of the tunnel where the power houses used to be currently makes use of the 115 year old tunnel to discharge effluent. From a distance the flow always seemed a bit too daunting.

Well, it turns out it wasn't as bad as we thought. Up to a point, anyway. We still had to keep to the side where the water was shallowest and this was the first time I've had to keep my hand on the tripod while taking pictures to ensure it wouldn't get washed away. We made it about a third of the way through before having to turn back because of choppy water, poor visibility and a sinking feeling that the condtions would only get worse if we ventured any further.