Lucky 13 Storm Drain
AKA St. Anthony Park Storm Tunnel
A well-known but probably still not completely explored storm drain tunnel under St. Paul. Large-diameter RCP drains like this usually date from the 1950s and 60s when the Freeways were being built and expanded, and are usually under the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Department of Transportation or MNDOT. This one drains a significant portion of Interstate 94, Highway 280, and the U of M St. Paul campus as well as surrounding areas. It is a typical St. Paul deep tunnel, with long dropshafts from the sufrace terminating in impact cup temple structures which dissipate the force of water falling 100ft from the surface.
As with its other MNDOT brethren such as Frozen's, SSSD, and Rondo, this one is usually only explored up to the first dropshaft temple. The sheer distance to the other temples (those being the only features), and the steady stream of water down the RCP make a full-length trek a boring and exhausting proposition. Fortunately, this drain has a few other cool features close to the outfall. Two abandoned tunnels parallel the drain for the first few blocks. One is an original 1907 sandstone sewer which dumped sewage directly into the Mississippi River at it's original level. After construction of the Interceptor sewer system this flow was diverted into the MPLS Joint Interceptor carrying the poop to St. Paul's treatment plant. The old outfall sewer was abandoned in 1921 when the Twin Cities Lock and Dam (the Ford Dam) raised the water level well above the outfall and flooded the tunnel for several blocks. Drainage for the area was taken over in 1919 by a 12' diameter brick storm sewer outfalling at the new river level. This tunnel was abandoned in 1965 when the 13' RCP St Anthony Park storm sewer was constructed. Portions of the old storm drain are visible in several places, and a section of the original sewer is also accessible from a side tunnel of Lucky 13. The Lucky 13 tunnel itself takes a duck underneath the large MPLS joint interceptor just up from the entrance, and a short side tunnel leads up to a straight stairway into a diversion tunnel leading to this interceptor, but walled off from the main sewer.
Two maps attempting to show the relationship between Lucky 13 (dark blue at right), the Joint Interceptor and associated sewer tunnels (brown), and the two abandoned tunnels (red outlines).
Entering the outfall, the first thing one encounters is the side tunnel to the sewer diversion stairs. Just past that point are three large fins supporting the underpass below the Joint Interceptor sewer.
Lucky 13 is often flooded over wading level at the outfall. In such cases a boat such as the trusty Rinker's Revenge is very useful.
The main 13' diameter RCP, and the first dropshaft impact cup temple. Due to high humididy and spatter, photos of the temple are hard to get.
The requisite blueprint diagram of the temple structure, as popularized by Action Squad.
The dropshaft at the end of the abandoned sewer is quite photogenic. Dsankt has yet to collect on Max Action's dare to traverse the deep GPT pits in this area.
Looking down the abandoned 12' storm drain, abandoned in 1965 and sealed off from human access. It is visible through a hole in the drain wall.
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