Safety, Security and the Future
On my last visit to the tunnel with several members of NAGS, and under the authority of the St. Lawrence Seaway, we were in disbelief at the state of the tunnel. It had more water seeping down its walls and dripping into pools at our feet then at any other time. The stones were eroding under the constant pressure of the ice build-up. We concluded that the tunnel was generally unsafe and agreed that it would not exist much longer under these conditions.
But the tunnel remains still, holding strong, a testament to the engineering and quality of the workmanship. Visitors hoping to experience the paranormal keep visiting and others with alcohol and drugs continue to rendezvous for a quick thrill.
The Seaway Authority believes the tunnel is unsafe and in 2010 constructed a wire fence around the property and mounted security cameras. They hoped to deter visitors to the tunnel, but admit it is nearly impossible because of its remote location. They have been the defendant in three separate lawsuits where individuals have been injured while on Seaway Property.
There have been talks of sealing the tunnel completely, with tons of dirt and cement, as has been done with other tunnels in the area. But these talks have been ongoing for the last five years and budget concerns seem to get in the way of implementing the measure.
Recently, authorities had to prosecute several individuals for trespassing on the land as they were conducting “ghost tours” of the tunnel. The tours have been canceled.
Proposals to open up the area as park land with historical markers about the Welland Canal are still being debated. Would this clean up the tunnel? Would it allow visitors to safely visit? Perhaps.
Discussions about cleaning up the area, creating parkland with extensive pathways, and placing historical markers on the land began as far back as 1979 with Greenwald et al, The Welland Canals, Historical Planning and Research Branch, and the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Recreation. It is interesting to note that nowhere in the documentation do the words “haunted” or “ghost” receive printed mentioned.
Recently, The Region used Shadows of Niagara as a reference to determine whether or not exploiting sites such as The Blue Ghost Tunnel might be beneficial in bringing additional tourist dollars to the Region. Talks about opening up the area as parkland are once again making the rounds.
Future access to the tunnel is certainly in jeopardy as additional security fencing, cameras and lights have been added to the roadway approaching the tunnel. For those interested in the paranormal, this location may soon disappear. The tunnel will always, no matter what its condition, remain a mystery and the legends that it spawned will continue to grow and develop.