What Lies Beneath The Streets Of This Arkansas City Is Creepy Yet Amazing

Underneath beautiful Bathhouse Row and the heart of downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas is a stone arch aquifier that’s been around since 1884. Despite its construction in the late 19th-century, not many visitors today even know it exists. The tunnel was said to have been used during the 1920s as a passageway, which was beneficial to mobsters who wanted to get around the city without being spotted. The arch and its additions extend through Whittington Avenue, Park Avenue and onto Broadway.

(YouTube/James Katowich)

The original portion of the tunnel is a marvelous structure of novaculite and granite stone. The tunnel’s additions are constructed from a variety of materials such as stone and brick. Concrete walls can be found in some areas of the tunnel. The city of Hot Springs once proposed a plan to deepen the creek under the arch, as the tunnel is not large enough to support the volume of water produced by severe weather. However, the plans were abandoned because the effort could have disturbed the natural balance of the thermal hot springs that give the Spa City its name.

(YouTube/Hot Springs Broadcast Network)

In 2014, the city of Hot Springs (in particular the stormwater division) began restoring and maintaining the creek tunnel after receiving a sizeable federal grant. The original arch was federally funded at a cost of $136,735. The 21st-century restoration project was funded at a cost of $480,000—a price well worth every penny, as the project keeps Arkansas history preserved.

(YouTube/City of Hot Springs, Arkansas Government)

A vital part of flood control in downtown Hot Springs, the creek tunnel is not known by many. It’s illegal – and dangerous – to visit this tunnel yourself, so explore it by watching the YouTube videos and enjoying the photos in this article