The Legend of Tunnel Hallow

By Ryan Harding / ADOT Communications

Transit bay in tunnelDown along the I-10 freeway into the heart of downtown Phoenix there lies a tunnel, the Deck Park Tunnel. And deep in the midst of that tunnel lies the ruins of a once-planned city bus terminal.

Instead of a housing place for city buses, the space in the middle of the tunnel wall separating east- and westbound traffic lies dormant...or does it?

A trek down into the dark subterranean depths by a brave soul reveals compartments hidden from view of the traveling public. The never-utilized transit bay, tight passages and low-lit areas can fill the mind with scary images. What will one find down in these dark, dank hollow areas? The secret lab of a mad scientist? Perhaps the lair of a monstrous creature?

Actually, one finds a control room staffed not with fellows named Igor, but ADOT employees who monitor the operations of the Deck Park Tunnel. This control room was once the original location of the ADOT Traffic Operations Center. These employees manage tunnel operations to ensure the lighting is working properly amongst other duties.

Tunnel fan and ventBut, every so often an employee can hear a distant howling in the tunnel. Could it be a werewolf? Or perhaps it’s one of the four large ventilation fans helping to pull fresh air through the tunnel. These fans operate on 750 horsepower engines and are controlled in the tunnel control room.

Tunnel crews run these massive fans once a week to ensure they are in good working order.

Ok, so maybe the headless horseman or Frankenstein’s monster aren’t lurking in the depths of the Deck Park Tunnel. But just like you wouldn’t walk under a ladder or let a black cat cross your path, every good Phoenican knows you still need to hold your breath while passing through the tunnel on I-10.