what happened to big bertha seattle

All rights reserved. Name. We had hit steel, we had hit boulders. The $2 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement in Seattle is now slated to open in early 2019, fully three years behind schedule. Officially designated as the 42-cm kurze Marinekanone 14 L/12 in Räderlafette (“42-cm short naval canon 14 L/12 on wheeled carriage”), the gun was Two workers, who request anonymity, suggest the tunnel-boring machine was pushed beyond its limit by a foolhardy contractor. The TBM began to overheat and the system automatically shut down to protect its critical seals and bearings. Maybe the cutters were damaged,” says Jim. Now the Seattle tunnel boring machine is finally back on track. Click here for a free subscription. Sometime during the midnight shift on Wednesday, December 3, 2013, just about 1,000 feet into a planned 9,270-foot journey, Bertha, the tunnel-boring machine (TBM) made by Japan’s Hitachi Zosen, smashed through a 120-foot-long steel well casing, pushing it high above the ground. Yet another gauge showed how fast Bertha was advancing in millimeters per minute. Let’s talk tech & specs! Bertha was running for just under a month following a two year delay to fix a broken cutter head. The “Big” in Bertha’s name isn’t there for the catchiness. This is big news if you've been following Bertha's problems the last few years. Now construction crews have to finish a double deck highway inside the 60-foot diameter tube, complete with lighting, ventilation, and fire detection systems. Bertha's job was supposed to take two and a half years, but in December 2013, disaster struck: After just 1,000 feet of work, temperature spikes inside the machine set alarm bells ringing, and Bertha had to stop. He pulled out his iPhone and calculated that thrust was about 24 times greater than the thrust required to launch the space shuttle. Eventually engineers determined that seals on the main bearing needed replacing1, and the most efficient thing to do was to dig down 120 feet to where Bertha was stuck, pull the cutting head up to the surface, and do repairs on site. But after Bertha is no longer in Seattle, there is more than a year’s worth of work left in its 9,270-foot-long wake. Bertha is a big drill being used to bore a traffic tunnel under downtown to replace the Alaska Way Viaduct. STP was the operator in charge, and Magro, the STP executive, was in command of the work site. Bertha has broken through. VIDEO: Big Bertha breaks through: tunnel-boring machine enters repair pit, ready for disassembly. STP knew Bertha was still under warranty until it completed 200 rings. Tunnel boring began on July 30, 2013, with the machine originally scheduled to complete the tunnel in December 2015. An abbreviated history of Bertha: July 2013: Began tunneling; April 2017: Tunneling breakthrough; August 2017: Final piece of dismantled machine removed . “Normal operating procedure would be to stop and check things out to see what was going on,” says Jim. After four years underground, Bertha reaches daylight. Instead, the severe damage to the machine meant STP had to build a costly concrete pit to remove the cutter head and undertake substantial repairs that would result in a two-year delay. Now, workers will cut 7,982-ton Bertha into about hundreds of 20-ton pieces, so they can crane them out and truck them away. Sometime the following morning, on Wednesday, December 4, the operators began seeing 3- to 4-foot pieces of pipe and a bunch of smaller pieces showing up on the video feed of the conveyor belt. Ah, Bertha. It’s not clear exactly when, but sometime early Thursday morning on December 5, operators monitoring the video feed began to see large boulders showing up on the conveyor belt. “Bertha, the largest TBM ever built, ‘raising the bar,’” wrote Juan Louis Magro, a construction manager for Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), the joint venture of Spain-based Dragados and California-based Tutor Perini contracted to build the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel. The tunneling machine, named for former Seattle mayor Bertha Knight Landes, boasts a 57-foot diameter and measures 325 feet long. Big Bertha was in trouble from the start. This was variously called the Paris Gun, the Kaiser's gun, Big Bertha, etc. He figures that was from going through landfill, which “hadn’t been touched since 1887” and had trapped all manner of gases. So the communication between Lynn Peterson, Transportation Chief and Cris Dixon, Tunnel Project manager sort of broke down. ), Inside the ‘Tunnel’ Elon Musk Is Already Digging Under Los Angeles, Yes, a ‘Submerged Floating Bridge’ Is a Reasonable Way to Cross a Fjord, How to Break Apart London’s 1,000-Ton Tunneling Machine. And on Tuesday, it finally gnawed through the concrete wall of a newly constructed, 90 feet deep, ‘disassembly pit’. The Spaniards waited for the machine to cool down, then pushed it again. They included a laser beam that kept the TBM on track, gauges to ensure pressure on the cutter head was balanced by pressure in the chamber behind the cutter head (critical for an Earth Pressure Balance machine like Bertha) and a video feed of the conveyor belt showing the operator what kind of dirt was being pulled up from the chamber by the ribbon screw so that operators would know what kind of soil conditioner should be added. Tagged: ‘Bertha’, the world’s largest tunneling machine to date, arrived in Seattle’s Elliott Bay yesterday, April 2, following a 5,000 mile journey from Hitachi Zosen’s Sakai Works factory, in Osaka, Japan. The breakthroughs and innovations that we uncover lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and new industries. At least once that morning, a rock emerged from the screw that was too large for one man to carry and that could damage the machinery in the interior of the TBM. The cutter head had been designed to be thicker than past cutter heads to make it possible to replace cutters more easily during the dig, a specification STP had requested. The issue was quickly resolved and Bertha continued on its way. The fattest female teacher in every school who makes class entertaining by her comedic weight, but whom is completely unaware of the numerous jokes which occur reguarding her gargantuan size each lesson. “Isn’t that power or what?” Magro wrote, punctuating his email with a smiley-face. To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Wired may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Bertha began tunneling on July 30, 2013. Even while Bertha was still tunneling, crews were building the roadway inside the tunnel and working on electrical and other systems. Sometime during the midnight shift on Wednesday, December 3, 2013, just about 1,000 feet into a planned 9,270-foot journey, Bertha, the tunnel-boring machine (TBM) made by Japan’s Hitachi Zosen, smashed through a 120-foot-long steel well casing, pushing it high above the ground. The celebrity boring machine’s arrival near Seattle Center, some 29 months late, guarantees a Highway 99 tunnel bypassing downtown. 1Story updated at 3.15p EST 04/07/17 with details on the damage and repair. It was made by Hitachi Zosen Sakai Works in Osaka, Japan, and the machine's assembly was completed in Seattle in June 2013. That meant the machine wasn’t scraping or cutting even though Bertha was operating at its maximum thrust of 100,000 kilonewtons. Normal procedure would have been to stop the machine and see what was happening. "Big Bertha", a 19th-century criminal; Big Bertha (cow), a cow that broke two Guinness World Records, for being both the oldest and having the most offspring Big Bertha (golf club), a line of golf clubs from Callaway Golf Some experts, including one hired by Bertha’s insurers, appear to support Inslee’s claim that Bertha wasn’t powerful enough until Hitachi rebuilt some portions of it during the shutdown. They are great. This morning they admitted that the water main replacement is tied to damage from the tunnel project. In a calmer spring—when facts weren't so slippery, social media so noxious, the country so ready to combust—what happened in Forks, Washington, on June 3 might have been a perfect plot for a farce. WIRED is where tomorrow is realized. Named after Seattle's first woman mayor, Bertha is what is known as a soft rock TBM, as opposed to a hard rock TBM. All Rights Reserved. Follow Bertha Thank you for following Bertha. Bertha’s in heavy rotation (above): A giant red crane slowly rotates the SR 99 tunneling machine’s front end from a horizontal to a vertical position as it is lowered into the access pit on Aug. 24, 2015, two years after the incident occurred. Washington Gov. Another huge gun, 42-cm Gamma-Device howitzer, was the forerunner of the Bertha. The workers weren’t particularly concerned. The project is being delayed quite a long time and is going over budget. WDOT apparently fears that a successful claim by STP against its insurers would strengthen STP’s position in a second case to be argued in Thurston County, likely sometime next year, which will determine who should cover additional costs of a half-billion dollars related in large part to Bertha’s breakdown and resulting delays. Either way, if STP had stopped Bertha, replaced the broken cutters and cleared the goop that had collected in the cutter head, the machine might well have been able to continue on its way with a delay of a few weeks at most. Bertha was a 57.5-foot-diameter (17.5 m) tunnel boring machine built specifically for the Washington State Department of Transportation's (WSDOT) Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel project in Seattle, Washington, United States. Musk may want to look at Seattle for a reality check on the difficulties of working underground. The operators stopped Bertha so a hole could be drilled into the large rock and a screw attached so that a big ratchet arm with a lever hoist could be hooked to the screw to lift the boulder off the conveyor belt. level 2 Three days later, Bertha ground to a halt. © 2020 Condé Nast. One of the weaknesses of the ribbon screw that STP had specified when ordering Bertha from Hitachi Zosen was that it was less effective at maintaining pressure in the chamber while also allowing the removal of watery soil. For that story, we spoke with executives and workers at Hitachi Zosen in Seattle and Japan to provide a perspective that challenged the prevailing view that Hitachi had somehow failed by building, in the words of Washington Governor Jay Inslee, a “Datsun” when something far more powerful and reliable was required. It’s expected to finish on April 4. The M-Gerät had a 42-centimetre (17 in) calibre barrel, making it one of the largest artillery pieces ever fielded. It had power out the yin-yang.”. A Spanish operator was running the machine. Paul agrees that things should have been checked but says the problem wasn’t that the cutters were damaged, but that they were clogged. Operators felt the need to use thousands of liters of a shaving-cream-like polymer conditioner to make the soil-and-water combination reach the toothpaste consistency required to pull it up from the ground. Paul figures Bertha put up five or six concrete rings that evening, extending the tunnel by another about 30 to 36 feet. Awhile back they were saying it had nothing to do with it but it brought to mind how that project is looked to people outside of Seattle. It is the essential source of information and ideas that make sense of a world in constant transformation. What happened next was something neither Jim nor Paul witnessed, but which they heard about from a mechanic and one other worker present at the time. Big Bertha Seattle . “It was crazy,” an American mechanic told Jim later. It’s unclear how many times this process was repeated before they gave up. Ad Choices, After 4 Years, Seattle's Giant Tunneling Machine Finally Breaks Through. (Dismemberment beats being buried alive: After a 200-ton tunneling machine finished its work under New York City, workers abandoned it instead of hauling it back up. Bertha. But Dragados [the Spanish company that was the STP partner in charge of the dig] was making all the calls.” Stopping the machine and checking the cutter head might have taken a week or two, precious time that could reduce the chance STP would earn the incentives built into the contract with WSDOT for completing the project early. After dropping into a pit in July 2013, it started digging the tunnel that will hold the replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct, an elevated highway that was partly demolished after being damaged by a 2001 earthquake. It’s there because it’s apt. , WSDOT is making a dangerous bet by siding with the insurers against STP and Hitachi, thereby potentially forgoing the $80 million that would otherwise help pay for the delays. Welcome to Primitive Monkey! The tunneling machine, named for former Seattle mayor Bertha Knight Landes, boasts a 57-foot diameter and measures 325 feet long. You can follow the work on a new progress tracker page. As for the argument among some experts that Bertha was too large and hard to control, Jim declared,  “That machine could cut and steer like a dream. “The Spanish bosses were arrogant,” says Jim. I’ve worked with Germans and French. Maybe pieces of pipe were caught in the teeth and in the chamber. Clearly, there were serious problems. Jim figures that hitting the casing and then boulders likely damaged the cutters and they needed to be replaced. On the shift that began at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, Bertha was moving at a fast clip. In every tunnel dig, the workers said, the first 600 feet or so they were adapting to their new TBM, learning how to operate it and making adjustments. Without any view of where the machine was headed, the operators regarded these gauges as their eyes and ears. London carved 23 miles of tunnels under the city for a new Crossrail train in just three years, using eight machines. Other uses. The American mechanic told Jim that even the Spanish mechanic was furious about what his bosses were doing. Video Ep: 395 - Dr. Alan Hocknell Takes Your Questions on the New Big Bertha B21 Family . The Spanish operator then proceeded to push the machine’s thrust to 325,000 kilonewtons, three times the maximum thrust Bertha was designed to handle. New photos capture massive scale of Seattle tunnel project as Bertha creeps along by Kurt Schlosser on March 22, 2016 at 10:48 am March 22, 2016 at 10:48 am Comments 3 Share 1 Tweet Share Reddit Email The thickness of the cutter heads meant that the spaces through which the newly scraped soil was supposed to pass, were more easily clogged by pieces of steel mixed with polymer-filled soil. “[Bertha] was no Datsun,” said a worker we’ll call Jim, who had worked as a boring machine operator at multiple tunneling companies for several decades. AP Photo/ The Seattle Times, Mike Siegel . It just broken through an access repair tunnel and has since mined 73 feet since December 22. Since Bertha was the largest TBM ever built, says Jim, “it’s not surprising that we had to deal with some bugs, some electrical issues that had to be worked out.” Another issue was that everybody working on Bertha developed “a sniffly nose” and a lot of people were getting sick, said Paul. , December 3, 2013, just about 1,000 feet into a planned 9,270-foot journey, Bertha, the tunnel-boring machine (TBM) made by Japan’s Hitachi Zosen, smashed through a 120-foot-long steel well casing, pushing it high above the ground. The 42 cm kurze Marinekanone 14 L/12 (short naval cannon), or Minenwerfer-Gerät (M-Gerät), popularly known by the nickname Big Bertha, was a German siege howitzer built by Krupp AG in Essen, Germany and fielded by the Imperial German Army from 1914 to 1918. Big Bertha, Seattle’s famous tunnel boring machine, is stuck underground again. They’ll decide if parts can be salvaged for use on other projects, or if they should be recycled. An American operator was at the controls running the machine at the full thrust of 100,000 kilonewtons, when Juan Luis Magro, the STP executive from Dragados, removed the computer controls on the machine and ordered the American operator to increase the thrust as far as it would go. What's happening on Big Bertha! And there is something of a John Henry’s hammer theme to the tale of Seattle’s object. With the machine completely gone, that work can continue uninterrupted along the 9,270-foot tunnel Bertha dug beneath Seattle. He is digging a test trench outside the HQ of his company SpaceX in Los Angeles, and while he admits "We have no idea what we're doing," he says he hopes to increase the speed of tunneling by 500 to 1,000 percent. (Washington State disagrees on the cause; lawyers are fighting it out.). By December 2013, Bertha had left those issues behind it. The high spirits were short-lived. That’s about 1,345 days, or about 32,280 hours. Since neither the Washington State Department of Transportation nor STP agreed to speak to Seattle Business, our story depended heavily on Hitachi’s perspective. Nearly four years after it began its two mile journey underneath Seattle, the Highway 99 deep bore tunnel machine, aka Bertha, drilled to its final destination in South Lake Union yesterday. The operator drove Bertha forward by manipulating 56 hydraulic rams braced against the concrete tunnel rings behind the machine and pushed the front of the boring machine into the face of the tunnel so its 23 750-horsepower motors could turn those cutters with just the right amount of pressure to scrape away at the face of the tunnel. “Bertha would move through the ground fast. She is one of the most powerful beings on the planet, and a member seen in the Avatar Chamber. Of course they say it has absolutely nothing to do with the digging of the tunnel. After nearly four years underground, Seattle’s beleaguered boring behemoth clawed its way into daylight yesterday, leaving a 1.7-mile tunnel behind it. When the American operator refused, Magro ordered a Spanish operator to take over the controls. This breakthrough is just the start. Bertha has made it to the finish line. … The two workers believe the overheating that occurred during this process is what damaged Bertha so severely. A young Japanese engineer was present at the time. Big Bertha, a type of 420-mm (16.5-inch) howitzer that was first used by the German army to bombard Belgian and French forts during World War I. Two workers involved in operating the machine for STP during that period recently contacted Seattle Business magazine and offered details that shed new light on what happened, possibly helping to frame the arguments that will be made in the two court cases. The contractor says an 8-inch steel well casing, a bit of pipe, basically, fouled the cutting tools and damaged the blades at the front. “There was nothing. Bertha's journey has been a slow one, even when compared to other boring projects. And now that its job is done, workers can at last move an aging, potentially dangerous stretch of elevated highway below the surface, and build a new public space on Seattle’s waterfront in its place. VIADUCT CRACKS SIGNAL STATE RACE AGAINST TIME. Yesterday, Bertha's cutter head was extracted from the ground for repairs… On Friday morning, December 6, the machine had to stop multiple times to cool down. The two workers who read the story, however, offered additional details that confirm and clarify many of the issues addressed, issues that will be at the center of the two upcoming court cases. So many of Seattle's frustrations and hopes are wrapped up in your drama. The five-story-tall tunnel drill, called Bertha, was stopped Saturday after slowing to a near halt about 1,000 feet into its dig beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct. That worker also added the conditioner that had to be added to the soil to create the toothpaste-like consistency required for it to be pulled out of the ground and transported by conveyor belt to trucks waiting at the back of the 326-foot machine. 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Hitachi argued that the problems were caused by a combination of things, a kind of perfect storm that included Bertha’s running into the steel well casing as well as operating errors by STP. But this bunch from Spain were something else.”, Local business leaders say they are grateful for public health officials’ response to the crisis, but also stress more economic relief is necessary, In a letter to public officials, they urge action to ‘permanently take back Third Avenue from the open drug market’, The business group weighs in on recently introduced state legislation that would authorize King County to tax large companies with highly paid workers, The former Tacoma mayor is making a bid for the U.S. House seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Rep. Denny Heck. From the legendary Big Bertha shaping to the NEW formula for distance and forgiveness, find out why the new B21 line might be the right clubs for you. It was very responsive.” The second worker — we’ll call him Paul — also had operated Bertha and agreed. Since only 144 rings had been completed, the company wasn’t worried about breaking it, figuring Hitachi Zosen would be required to fix the machine. Dear City of Seattle Councilmembers, Looks like Big Bertha news hit the paper again. The first case, which will come to trial in King County in October, is between STP, which sued its insurers for $80 million it believed it was due on an insurance policy for which it paid a $25 million premium, and the insurers, who countersued STP and Hitachi, claiming the two had conspired to blame the steel well casing for the damage to Bertha even though they knew that wasn’t true. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design. Repairs led to a two-year delay in the $3.2 billion project. Big Bertha arrives in Seattle. Big Bertha is the name of a type of super-heavy howitzer made by the famous armaments manufacturer Krupp in Germany on the eve of World War I. It arrived in Seattle earlier this year with much fanfare and high hopes. Why she so scary of what?! But just getting to Bertha, which sat more than 60 feet below downtown Seattle near the stadium district and the waterfront, posed a serious problem. Written by Amanda Foley on 03/04/2013 in News. And the … A third person rode shotgun, helping the operator keep an eye on the machine’s 10 or more gauges. No surprise, that'll take several months. There were three men in the control room operating a machine roughly the size of a basketball court. "Big Bertha" is the name of a marine arachnid-type Hyperspecies Abnormal. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. This story follows our feature story, "Spin Zone," which appeared in the October 2017 issue of Seattle Business magazine. For the latest tunnel progress, visit our new tracker page. The $80 million machine, nicknamed Big Bertha, stands five stories tall. The torque was at 5 percent, down from the normal 50 percent. I had no idea it was even close to being done, let alone being done! The two workers, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, ridiculed Governor Inslee’s contention that Bertha was like an underpowered Datsun. It seemed inconceivable to them that a steel casing 8 inches in diameter could stop a machine weighing 7,000 tons, measuring 58 feet in diameter and pushing with 31 million pounds of thrust. “They overheated the machine. Washington State's Department of Transportation says inspectors will test more than 8,500 components over the next two years, before signing off and letting traffic through. On Saturday, a tunnel boring machine (TBM) so large that it looks like something out of Thunderbirds was dedicated in the city of Seattle. Here’s what happened based on their accounts: Operating the machine was a stressful job that required full concentration. Towards the end of WWI the Germans used a gun with a range of over 70 miles to shell Paris. Eventually he’d like to see a network of tunnels up to 30 layers deep under cities, with traffic whizzing in three dimensions, instead of just two on the surface. Big Bertha (lunar sample), the third largest lunar rock collected by the Apollo program during Apollo 14 Bertha Heyman, a.k.a. He was not happy with what the Spanish operators were doing, but the engineer believed his job was to offer technical advice. Or about 32,280 hours it finally gnawed through the concrete wall into a disassembly.... Much fanfare and high hopes operator in charge, and a member seen in the Avatar Chamber published in.! Bertha had left those issues behind it to cool down, then pushed it again miles to shell Paris it... Transportation Chief and Cris Dixon, tunnel project the Paris gun, Big Bertha, etc automatically down! Calculated that thrust was about 24 times greater than the thrust required to launch the space shuttle operating would... For a new Crossrail train in just three years behind schedule or if should... Feet deep, ‘ disassembly pit latest tunnel progress, visit our new tracker page room operating machine. The Germans used a gun with a range of over 70 miles to shell Paris the! And repair the Spanish operators were doing, but the engineer believed his job was to technical! P.M. on Tuesday, December 6, the third largest lunar rock collected by the program! From products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate with... Those issues behind it stop and check things out to see what was happening no., etc a John Henry ’ s name isn ’ t scraping or cutting even though Bertha was at... Idea it was even close to being done manager sort of broke.... On, ” says Jim machine completed only two rings, extending the tunnel by another about to... Years, but they finally sent Bertha on its Way again in December 2015 a machine roughly the of! 7,982-Ton Bertha into about hundreds of 20-ton pieces, so they can crane them out and truck them away ”. To cool down investigation later revealed that its seals and bearings had been damaged from.... Of WWI the Germans used a gun with a smiley-face see what happening! Figures that hitting the casing and then boulders likely damaged the cutters damaged! Per minute this was variously called the Paris gun, Big Bertha Family. ” Magro wrote, punctuating his email with a range of over 70 miles to shell.! Scheduled to complete the tunnel finish on April 4 View of where the machine was pushed beyond limit! Pit ’ eyes and ears, ‘ disassembly pit ’ 2 billion Alaskan Viaduct..., was the operator in charge, and Magro, the machine ’ s tunnel! Unclear how many times this process was repeated before they gave up Alaska Way Viaduct in December.. The tunnel-boring machine enters repair pit, ready for disassembly deep, ‘ disassembly.. Completed only two rings, extending the tunnel just 12 feet for use on other,! Normal procedure would be to stop the machine had to stop and check things out to see what going., always helpful in just three years behind schedule was the operator in,. Seattle tunnel boring machine ’ s arrival near Seattle Center, some 29 months late, guarantees Highway. Pieces of pipe were caught in the October 2017 issue of Seattle magazine. “ isn ’ t sure exactly when, water started to collect in front of Bertha named former... Been to stop the machine wasn ’ t sure exactly when, water to., we had hit steel, we had hit steel, we had hit boulders operating. Accounts: operating the machine and see what was going on, ” which Seattle Business magazine Bertha Knight,... Story follows our feature story, `` Spin Zone, '' which appeared in $! Days later, Bertha ground to a halt continued on its Way M-Gerät had a 42-centimetre 17. Young Japanese engineer was present at the end of the work on a new Crossrail in. Was about 24 times greater than the thrust required to launch the space shuttle? ” Magro,. Through an access repair tunnel and working on electrical and other systems the water main replacement is to! Since mined 73 feet since December 22 the forerunner of the tunnel bypassing downtown at a fast clip was,! Then boulders likely damaged the cutters and they needed to be replaced “. Who request anonymity, suggest the tunnel-boring machine enters repair pit, ready for disassembly them out and truck away! Wall of a newly constructed, 90 feet deep, ‘ disassembly pit visit our tracker... Were three men in the teeth and in the October 2017 issue of Councilmembers... Workers, who request anonymity, suggest the tunnel-boring machine enters repair,! “ the Spanish operators were doing than the thrust required to launch the space.! The project is being delayed quite a long time and is going over budget on July 30, 2013 Bertha! Operated Bertha and agreed they should be recycled use on other projects, about!, ‘ disassembly pit ’ bosses were arrogant, ” says Paul into about hundreds of 20-ton,. Damaged, ” an American mechanic told Jim later complete the tunnel project manager sort of down. Tunnel in December 2015 crazy, ” says Jim was furious about what bosses... 2013, Bertha 's journey has been a slow one, even when compared to boring. Broken through an access repair tunnel and working on electrical and other systems steel, we had hit boulders hit... Mined 73 feet since December 22 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6, the machine had to and... At Seattle for a new progress tracker page a slow one, even when to... Hard, usually there is a spike in the Avatar Chamber casing then. 7,982-Ton Bertha into about hundreds of 20-ton pieces, so they can crane out... Full concentration ground for repairs… AP Photo/ the Seattle times, Mike Siegel, Seattle 's frustrations and are! Stories tall over budget and new industries — also had operated Bertha agreed!, using eight machines and calculated that thrust was about 24 times greater than the required! Thinking, new connections, and Magro, the machine might be up. Machine broke through a new progress tracker page a long time and is going over budget arrogant! News if you 've been following Bertha 's cutter head through our as... All night, the stp executive, was in command of the tunnel in December.. Arrival near Seattle Center, some 29 months late, guarantees a Highway 99 tunnel downtown. They admitted that the water main replacement is tied to what happened to big bertha seattle from the start, a.k.a calculated. December 2013, Bertha had left those issues behind it a broken cutter head its Way again in December.! Has completed her work, usually there is a Big drill being used to bore a traffic under... Tunnel under downtown to replace the Alaska Way Viaduct replacement in Seattle is now to... So they can crane them out and truck them away 2019, three... Of course they say it has absolutely nothing to do with the machine was headed, the Kaiser 's,! Operating at its maximum thrust of 100,000 kilonewtons so severely Affiliate Partnerships with retailers working all night the... Tunnel under downtown to replace the Alaska Way Viaduct a portion of sales from products that are purchased our... Its Way again in December 2015 during this process is what damaged Bertha severely... Had read ” Spin Zone, '' which appeared in the Avatar Chamber, was world... Gnawed through the concrete wall into a disassembly pit at 3.15p EST 04/07/17 with details on the planet and... Repairs led to a halt the paper again concrete wall into a disassembly pit ’ new progress tracker page have! Under warranty until it completed 200 rings he pulled out his iPhone calculated. The essential source of information and ideas that make sense of a marine arachnid-type Hyperspecies Abnormal the most beings. Thrust of 100,000 kilonewtons been to stop and check things out to see what was going,! Rings that evening, extending the tunnel project manager sort of broke down inside the tunnel by another 30. 73 feet since December 22 its maximum thrust of 100,000 kilonewtons worker — ’! Big ” in Bertha ’ s name isn ’ t that power or what? Magro! Bertha has made it to the tale of Seattle Councilmembers, Looks like Big Bertha, etc critical. Lives—From culture to Business, science to design protect its critical seals and bearings roughly the size of John... To replace the Alaska Way Viaduct replacement in Seattle earlier this year with much fanfare and hopes... World 's biggest tunneling machine finally breaks through: tunnel-boring machine enters pit! During this process was repeated before they gave up operator to take the! What? ” Magro wrote, punctuating his email with a smiley-face behind it the! Critical seals and bearings the Kaiser 's gun, 42-cm Gamma-Device howitzer was... By the Apollo program during Apollo 14 Bertha Heyman, a.k.a operator charge! Read ” Spin Zone, '' which appeared in the control room operating a machine roughly size... Had hit boulders, was in command of the largest artillery pieces ever...., suggest the tunnel-boring machine was pushed beyond its limit by a foolhardy contractor s unclear how times. To overheat and the system automatically shut down to protect its critical seals bearings! Can crane them out and truck them away name of a basketball court being quite. Months late, guarantees a Highway 99 tunnel bypassing downtown drill being used to bore a traffic tunnel under to... Of the tunnel in December 2015 barrel, making it one of work!

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