Approaching Spring: Underground Duluth

21st and 2nd Street close due to maintenance of century-old storm tunnels in Duluth, Minn.

Peyton Haug
Mar 15, 2022
Tarps, wooden planks and traffic cones cover the precise excavation site, where there is a hole in the wall of the tunnel that could potentially cause small sinkholes in the road (left). The city has created a detour route and blocked off the street in order for the city utility workers to set up lighting and digging equipment (right). — in Duluth, Minn. (Peyton Haug/2022).
Two loitering pigeons stand on a partially melted snowbank at the entrance to Brewery Creek, which is one of the main drainage tunnels in Duluth. It flows from the top of the hill to Lake Superior. — in Duluth, Minn. (Peyton Haug/2022).
Constructed between 1920 and 1930, the brick archway that lines the ceiling of some tunnels stands structurally sound 100 years later. — in Duluth, Minn. (Peyton Haug/2022).
Because the earliest construction of the drainage system left the top of the tunnels exposed, the drainage system follows the natural curvature patterns of the original stream (left). The upstream portion (middle) of the Brewery Creek tunnel is visible from the parking lot of the East Side Whole Foods Coop but remains inaccessible until the snowmelt has finished. The more recently constructed concrete retaining walls with metal railings protect the drainage system from fast melting in the spring as well as housing that lies on top of the stream (right). — in Duluth, Minn. (Peyton Haug/2022).
Partial light seeps into the main portion of the Brewery Creek tunnel through a small storm drain visible from the surface of East 3rd Street—in Duluth, Minn. (Peyton Haug/2022).
One of many sewage pipes that runs parallel to the ground throughout the tunnel has visible corrosion from years of weathering and flooding (left). A yellow extension cord (used for maintenance by the city) connected to a surface source is draped over the sewage pipe (right) — in Duluth, Minn. (Peyton Haug/2022).
Brewery Creek rages upon the granite bedrock left exposed by construction dating back to almost 150 years ago — in Duluth, Minn. (Peyton Haug/2022).
Peyton Haug

Journalism B.A. in-progress // Passionate about Climate Science and Culture // Freelance Writer and Photographer for hire (inquire at: