What Percentage of Lafayette Travelers Hold Their Breath While Driving Through the Mobile Tunnel?
'Tis the season for summer beach vacations, which means that a lot of families will be traveling through the famous Mobile Tunnel.
Its official name is the George Wallace Tunnel and it features a pair of road tunnels that carry Interstate 10 through Mobile, Alabama from the city's downtown. The tunnels actually go beneath the Mobile River and pop back out on Blakeley Island where they join the Jubilee Parkway over Mobile Bay.
The deepest part of the tunnel goes over 40 feet below the water level and its clearance from floor to ceiling is 16 feet. The total length is 3,000 feet and at 50 mph it takes approximately 40 seconds to get from one end to the other.
Apparently, that is the perfect amount of time for motorists and passengers to test out their lungs and attempt to hold their breath while driving through the tunnel. Actually, I have zero data to prove any of what I just said, but it's a very popular thing for travelers to do while going through the Mobile Tunnel.
Speaking of unofficial things, KATC Meteorologist (and Lafayette's Unofficial Wake Sheriff) Daniel Phillips tweeted out a poll for viewers and followers to chime in on the whole "holding your breath while driving through the Mobile Tunnel" thing.
Before we get to the results, I decided to see if there was any Mobile Tunnel content out there that would support this argument—one way or the other. Almost immediately, a video of a family holding their breath in the tunnel popped up on YouTube.
More than a few clips popped up on Twitter, some as recently as this month.
Some folks have even admitted to some playful cheating when it comes to keeping the tunnel tradition alive with their kids.
Others have even questioned their entire relationship over it.
There were even people who risked it all in the process. (More on THAT later in this story.)
But, needless to say, there were enough people who have documented holding their breath over the last decade for us to determine that this is clearly a "thing."
I asked a few friends (and random people throughout my day's travels) about their tunnel habits and I got everything from "it's just a tunnel" to "of course I do, it's a tradition." Some people even brought up memories of their parents honking through the tunnel from beginning to end.
So back to that unofficial poll from Daniel Phillips.
Out of the 65 people who participated (who clearly represent ALL OF LAFAYETTE), the results were nearly 50/50 but 53% of those polled said they do not partake when it comes to the breath-holding tradition.
I feel like this is close enough for a recount—don't you?
As temps continue to rise and more local families head east for their summer beach vacations, we hope you enjoy the tunnel and let us know if you decide to partake in any of its traditions.
Just don't be this guy. Yikes.