Although its only early days in the investigation, the team at Flinders University still have a lot of work to do in February 2015 when they come down, Assoc Prof Heather Burke has given me a description of what she saw of the Tunnel today.
They accessed the Tunnel in two spots along Burnett st New Norfolk and entered the tunnel through access shafts that went down around 8m below the road surface. They used a number of safety equipment whilst down there including harness, hard hats, gas meter to test quality of air and gas levels).
Assoc Prof Heather Burke “The brick ‘tunnel’ is actually a sewer – it is 90cm high internally and 70cm wide, made completely of brick (brick floor and walls, with a semi-circular arched brick roof. The bricks are hand made, so it is quite early in date (can’t be specific yet until I do more research), but it is no doubt the ‘great sewer’ described in the The Mercury in 1929: ‘The drain, which runs from the Mental Hospital along Burnett Street to the River Derwent, a distance of a quarter of a mile, is really a large bricked-in tunnel about 15ft. in diameter, with a gradual slope from the hospital to the river. It is probable that the tunnel was built over 100 years ago by convict labour when the hospital was set aside for Invalid prisoners.’ (article attached).”
Even though it appears it’s a drain, Heather describes it as beautiful in regards to its construction and length and quite exciting. I would have to agree.
I would love to have the opportunity to get done and see it with me own eyes.
Photos have been attached to show the scale of this section of the drain.