Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki

Taft Tunnel is an escape tunnel from the Jefferson Memorial. The exit point is a sewer grate outside the Citadel entrance, just south of the west point of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.


These tunnels may have been used as a secret escape route for pre-War political figures occupying the Pentagon, but Chinese weaponry and items, including rifles, pistols, and clothing, alongside a ham radio and other bits of technology, lend credence to it being occupied by Chinese spies.


The initial tunnel leads to an open room with many feral ghouls and some radioactive barrels. From there, other tunnels open to a room with two doors. The one on the left has a Very Hard terminal that Dr. Li must hack to open the door in front. The door on the left is populated by Enclave soldiers. Once the front door is opened, there is another tunnel with doorways on the left that have nothing of value and a door on the right.

Through the right door is another tunnel that leads down, taking one to another door on the right that leads to a Brotherhood of Steel paladin using a flamer against feral ghouls. From there, head to the right and up the ladder to the entrance of the Citadel.

Notable loot


  • In the tunnels, Enclave soldiers will ambush the player character from apparently inaccessible catwalks. There are several means by which to reach these catwalks, which will allow one to loot the otherwise unreachable bodies and kill the soldiers waiting at the second ambush point before they notice. See the discussion page for details.
  • The tunnel can't be reached before the final steps of the quest The Waters of Life.
  • It seems the Jefferson Memorial access to the tunnel is no longer available with Broken Steel.
  • Attempting to use the Citadel access to reach the Jefferson Memorial does not work, as the path to the Jefferson Memorial entrance when entering from the Citadel end is blocked by a locked door that says it's activated elsewhere.
  • After The Waters of Life quest, one can get back in by going back inside and picking the Very Hard lock on the metal door near the Brotherhood of Steel Knight. If Garza is told to stay, he will still be there.
  • During The Waters of Life when the player character is escorting Madison Li and the others through the doorway leading up to the door that Madison must unlock, it is always a possibility that any one person (and perhaps others, including companions) can become sealed behind the doorway. This is not a bug as the door is scripted to close when the player character reaches a set distance away, meaning if for any reason someone is hanging behind they will become trapped, unless Madison is trapped one can just leave them there, but to free them you must reload and make sure everyone comes through.


The Taft Tunnel appears only in Fallout 3.

Behind the scenes

The name of the Taft Tunnel is named after President William Howard Taft.


  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 If Garza dies from one of the Enclave ambushes, Dr. Li will tell you that she cannot leave Garza behind. If you failed the option for Dr. Li to leave him behind then you will have to restart your game to an earlier save point. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Sometimes when re-entering and exiting the taft tunnels after the Waters of Life quest, Dr. Li and her team of scientists may appear outside of the Citadel and next to the tunnel entrance. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 When going through the door in the inaccessible area, Dr. Li, Daniel Agincourt and Alex Dargon may all appear in the second area of Taft Tunnels and act as if they were in the Citadel. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 When approaching the sewer grate for the first time, you may be attacked by a super mutant. If you kill the super mutant with an energy weapon and it becomes an ash pile on top of the sewer grate, you will not be able to enter the taft tunnels. Your game will be corrupted and will have to reload from an earlier save point. [verified]
  • PCPC If you successfully convince Dr. Li to abandon Garza and proceed to the next section, the remaining members of the science team can turn into Sergeant RL3 (who was waiting in my Megaton house) and the mission proceeds normally. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Dogmeat (or other followers) may spawn inside the tunnels in a number of circumstances, regardless of earlier being told to wait, or return to their hiring location. [verified]
    • Xbox 360Xbox 360 It may be that any NPC is able to spawn within the tunnels, but the previously mentioned followers have a higher chance. Enclave Eyebots have a chance to spawn within the tunnels, as well.
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Should you happen to complete your journey through taft tunnel with all of the four followers from the quest The Waters of Life, without any of them turning into Dogmeat (or other standard followers), you might, after leaving the tunnel at the Citadel exit, get the message that Dogmeat is waiting for you in front of Vault 101, although you never told him to do so. [verified]
  • PCPC Carrying out a sneak attack on an enemy, can result in someone from the team thinking you're being reckless and temporarily flee. While this has no specific negative effect, Dr. Li will remain crouching regardless of what stance you are in, but can be fixed by asking her to follow you again. [verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 If the player hacks the terminal before Dr. Li, or simply does not allow Dr. Li to hack the terminal, you may get a bug just outside the "catwalk room" where you fight off the Enclave while Dr. Li opens the door. After the threat is cleared and the door opened Alex and Daniel continue to wait endlessly on either side of the doorway. Dr. Li and Garza still follow the player normally. Alex and Daniel remain in the same place even if the player goes to a different area and returns. [verified]