Monday October 3rd, 2005
Construction is under way to seal the Blue Ghost Tunnel. N.A.G.S. (Niagara Amateur Ghost Seekers), friends of Hamilton Paranormal, have given us permission to use the construction pictures shown below so you, the viewer, can see the progress in the sealing of the tunnel. Ghost Dave a friend of N.A.G.S. had taken the pictures below and we are grateful for the use of these pictures to keep everyone informed as to what is going on. More pictures are available on the N.A.G.S. website at this URL.... http://www.nagscanada.com/bgtseal1.html
October 5th, 2005
Kevin from N.A.G.S. had informed me by email that vandals have struck at the BGT, bashing down the wall not once, but twice in the past couple of days. The Seaway are now going to use quick drying cement for the blocks in hopes that the vandals will not be able to smash down the wall again.
There is speculation that more vandalism could take place at the BGT in the future. We will keep you posted as to what else may develop as the BGT is sealed away forever.
Thursday, October 06, 2005 @ 01:00
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. has started blocking up the west end of the Blue Ghost Tunnel.
Photo: staff photo by Denis Cahill
Seaway blocking up tunnel
By MATTHEW VAN DONGEN
The blue ghost tunnel is fast becoming a tomb.
Workers began bricking up the western entrance to the historic tunnel this week, said Michel Drolet, Niagara Region vice-president of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp.
The Standard examined the safety issues and tourism potential of the 214-metre former rail tunnel which curves under the third Welland Canal, in an article last week.
“As far as tourism, they’re all very good ideas, but not anything that can be done right now,” said Drolet. “What we’re doing now is simply ensuring no one gets hurt in (the tunnel).”
The tunnel is on Seaway property behind the Glendale Avenue General Motors operation, but ghost hunters and tourists routinely ignore No Trespassing signs to visit the popular site.
A recent television documentary, combined with internet sites and newspaper articles, spurred interest in the tunnel and alarmed Seaway officials, said Drolet.
From now on, tunnel visitors will be greeted by a concrete block wall and a locked door.
The other tunnel outlet is mired in a swamp and essentially inaccessible.
But in deference to concerns of local residents and history buffs, Drolet said the new wall isn’t designed to be permanent.
“If someone comes forward with a workable idea in the future, (the wall) can very easily come down,” he said.
City and regional officials said last week they’d like to see the land around the tunnel designated a historic site or park.
Drolet said he has since spoken to both levels of government, but noted no concrete plans are in the works.
The Seaway has said the main problem with opening the site to the public is liability.
The path to the tunnel is steep and engineers say parts of the century-old tunnel are unsafe.
Niagara Falls resident Ray Wilson, who has spent years researching the tunnel, said he’s disappointed the Seaway moved so quickly to block off the site.
Several Standard readers also contacted the paper this week to complain about the decision to seal the entrance.
Wilson said he’s writing provincial and federal politicians, urging them to support a proposal by St. Catharines regional councillor Bruce Timms to turn Niagara’s old canal lands into a park.
At the same time, Wilson said he understands the Seaway’s liability fears.
He noted angry visitors to the tunnel had recently torn down some of the bricks and thrown them in a impromptu fire pit.
“Some kids obviously don’t want to see (the wall) there,” he said.
Drolet said the Seaway needed to move quickly to stop teens from partying at night in the tunnel a common occurrence at Halloween.
“Hopefully, this will allow interest to die down for a little while,” he said.