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A History of the Urban Underground Tunnel (4000 B.C.E. - 1900 C.E.)

DOI: 10.4236/jtts.2018.81002, PP. 11-43

Keywords: Subway, Subterranean Passageway, Ancient, Underground, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Cut and Cover, Cloaca Maxima, Cryptoporticus, Croton Aq-ueduct, Arch Tunnel, Atlantic Avenue Tunnel, London Railway, London Tube, Beach/Greathead Shield, 19th Century Arched Tunnel Calculations

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Generally hidden from public view, out of our daily thoughts, and literally under our feet, are myriad urban underground tunnels that make our modern megacities possible. From their ancient beginnings in antiquity, as a means of supplying fresh water and draining waste water from cities, underground tunnels evolved into a means of providing high capacity rail mass transit in our most densely populated urban centers. This paper provides a broad overview of the evolution of urban tunnels across a 6000 year time span and includes the specific engineering formulas/computations for the earliest 19th century subways/infrastructure projects based on the Roman vaulted arch tunnel.


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