“It has been said, by engineers themselves, that given enough money, they can accomplish virtually anything: send men to the moon, dig a tunnel under the English Channel. There’s no reason they couldn’t likewise devise ways to protect infrastructure from the worst hurricanes, earthquakes and other calamities, natural and man-made.”
– Henry Petroski

The first thing that struck me about Switzerland was the tunnels. It is indeed amazing what money, ingenuity and tenacity can accomplish. The ones we saw first weren’t those bored into the side of a mountain but were a particular and elegant design sensibility where they went underground when it made sense (to them at least) to do so. I am guessing that we went through maybe a dozen on the 60 mile trip through Zurich to Lucerne, some of them were maybe a couple miles long. On the A4 Motorway, the Swiss decided to put their 4 lane expressway UNDER the suburbs rather than disturb existing neighborhoods, surface streets and established ways of life. I had to go back to Google maps to get a context, but I found this typical example where the A4 dips under a neighborhood near Überlandstrasse and goes underground following the blue line you see below until it clears buildings and streets on the other side of town. Try it yourself with Google Maps.


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