Bertha Repair Delayed by Shells

Oct. 29, 2014

Seattle's tunneling project has been delayed once again, this time by shells possibly discarded by indigenous tribes or earlier settlers. No human remains have been found.

That's right, the Bertha fiasco has added another chapter.

Bertha is the moniker supplied to the tunneling machine brought in to dig what will eventually be a four-lane toll tunnel. The machine has its own Twitter account, @BerthaDigsSR99, and recently posted a photo of the pit that is being dug to repair the machine. In case you've lost track, the machine has been stalled for months and is unable to continue tunneling.

The plan to repair Bertha involves digging a 120-foot pit next to the drill head, which will allow the machine to penetrate the wall of the pit and expose the damaged drill head. Then an  elaborate lifting process will raise the head to ground level where it will be disassembled and repaired. This video show the process.

About the Author

Rod Sutton

Sutton has served as the editorial lead of Construction Equipment magazine and since 2001. 

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