Saturday, December 21, 2013

Seattle's Boring Bertha

Under Seattle, a Big Object Blocks Bertha. What Is It? (The New York Times, 12/19/2013)

Seattle's Underground Mystery.  Something unknown, engineers say — and all the more intriguing to many residents for being unknown — has blocked the progress of the biggest-diameter tunnel-boring machine in use on the planet, a high-tech, largely automated wonder called Bertha. At five stories high with a crew of 20, the cigar-shaped behemoth was grinding away underground on a two-mile-long, $3.1 billion highway tunnel under the city’s waterfront on Dec. 6 when it encountered something in its path that managers still simply refer to as “the object.”

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