City engineers say mystery tunnel may run under nearby roads - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

City engineers say mystery tunnel may run under nearby roads

Lee Smithwick Lee Smithwick

KCBD is learning new details about the mystery tunnel in North Lubbock. City engineers are now taking action to see just how far it goes.

"We've got a backhoe and we'll go out there and essentially just dig a five foot trench along the right-of-way and to see where that trench goes," said Wood Franklin, City of Lubbock engineer.

Lee Smithwick says he was watering his yard in September when he noticed part of it collapsed. When he looked into the hole, he found what appeared to be railroad ties and realized it was a tunnel. Smithwick contacted city officials who now say they are concerned the tunnel may create a problem for nearby roads.

"We're concerned that continues under Mesa (road). And if it does, does it create a structural issue for the road?" asked Franklin.

City engineers, along with Texas Tech University archaeologists will begin excavating the tunnel on Monday.

"Next week, as schedule permits, we're gonna go out there and start just excavation to see if there is any structural integrity to the road," he said.

If the tunnel does not run underneath any roads, or any other city property, the Smithwicks may be left to deal with the problem on their own. 

Lee says he is inviting archaeologists to explore the tunnel because he wants to preserve history.

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