Trip Planner:   USA  /  Texas  /  Texas Gulf Coast  /  Houston  /  Sightseeing  /  Tunnels

Tunnels, Houston

3.1
#13 of 25 in Sightseeing in Houston
Landmark Tourist Spot
The Washburn Tunnel is a two-lane underwater motor-vehicle tunnel connecting Galena Park and Pasadena, two suburbs of Houston, Texas. Completed in 1950, it travels north-south underneath the Houston Ship Channel. It was named after Harris County, Texas Auditor Harry L. Washburn. It is the largest and first toll-free vehicular tunnel in the Southern United States.OverviewMerritt Chapman and Scott Corporation of New York engineered the $7 million project. First, a trench 90x40 feet had to be dug. Second, these sections had to be locked into position 85 feet underwater. Finally, the last touches, such as tiling the inside, were completed.It is the only underwater vehicle tunnel currently in operation in the state, as the Baytown Tunnel was replaced in 1995 by a bridge. The tunnel consists of a single bore, 895 meters (2,909 feet) in length, with a six-percent roadway grade outward from the center towards each exit. Forced transverse ventilation is potentially provided by three automatic high-speed Westinghouse Sturtevant blower fans located in a tower at the north entrance. These fans are designed to keep the air free from high-levels of carbon monoxide.In the event of electrical failure, a generator can support the electrical needs of the tunnel. Every twelfth light is powered by a generator. The light intensity at the portals is three times brighter than the interior. This prevents temporary blindness when entering the tunnel.
Work out when and for how long to visit Tunnels and other Houston attractions using our handy Houston family vacation planner.
Source
Create an itinerary including Tunnels
map

Plans in Houston by other users

19 days in New York City & Houston BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Houston BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 6 days in Houston & Orlando BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Houston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in Texas BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Houston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Houston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Houston, New Orleans & Gulf Shores BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 8 days in Houston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in Texas BY A USER FROM SPAIN July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Houston & Destin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans

Plan your trip to Houston

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Houston

If you come to Houston to splurge while on holiday, book a luxurious room at a downtown hotel. This area is an ideal base for getting to know Houston, offering you a chance to stay within walking distance of one of the country's largest theater districts. Houston bills itself as the "Energy Capital of the World," so it's no surprise that it houses many "green" hotels, their garages designed to cater to electric vehicle owners. For something completely different, enjoy a Texas country experience at a working ranch outside the city limits.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
TripAdvisor
Millions of travel reviews
on TripAdvisor
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
117 reviews
Google
4.2
  • If you are downtown and it is a typically humid or otherwise uncomfortable day, this is the place to find lunch or to travel among downtown buildings. You may need a map but it is air conditioned and ...  more »
  • Now you know why the streets downtown can look so vacant during the workday...lots of people are underground! Kids will get a kick out of this "secret" underground place too but it is not open on week...  more »
  • The tunnels are nothing special but provides a great alternative to get around the city when it's raining as it did when I arrived this past Friday. There are various entrances in. I went in thru the ...  more »
Google
  • Lived in Houston all my life and today was the first I seen and drove thru it! Short but awesome!
  • It's lasted far longer than it was designed to, and it just keeps on going. Glad it's there too!
  • I've lived in this city my whole life and today was the FIRST time I've traveled through the tunnel. Worth the wait! 😊
  • Very nice tunnel; it's well maintained and very efficient. Don't be talking on your phone while driving under because your connection will be cut off ;)
  • If you're from Houston you know traffic can get bad on many different roads having the tunnel gives you another option to get around that traffic