Prism Break: China’s Eye-Soothing Rainbow Road Tunnel

A 1,000-foot long rainbow underpass in Zhengzhou, China is designed to help drivers’ eyes adjust from daylight to a artificial lighting and back again.

China Rainbow Tunnel 2b

China Rainbow Tunnel 2a

Break out the Skittles, it’s time to drive the rainbow! Well, almost… the Cheng Avenue rainbow tunnel isn’t quite ready for prime time though it’s already cost Zhongmou County a pot of gold – about 100,000,000 yuan (about $16 million) and counting.

China Rainbow Tunnel 6

China Rainbow Tunnel 8

China Rainbow Tunnel 8b

The tunnel (actually a shallow underpass) is located about 50 meters north of the S223 Provincial Highway intersection just outside Zhengzhou in China’s east-central Henan province. The area around the project appears rather dry and drab; the soil radiating the pale yellow hue of dust blown eastward by strong winds scouring the Gobi Desert.

China Rainbow Tunnel 9a

China Rainbow Tunnel 9

China Rainbow Tunnel 7b

China Rainbow Tunnel 7a

If civic planning authorities intended to alleviate the visual monotony by injecting some color into the landscape, a 400-meter (1,312 ft) long “rainbow tunnel” is one way to do it. No matter if some bureaucratic committee can’t decide on a single hue: the rainbow tunnel has got ’em all!