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World's Largest Drill Running Again

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"About 750 days after she first broke down, Bertha, the massive drill long stuck under Seattle’s waterfront, is back to work. Five stories tall and the biggest of her kind, Bertha overheated in December 2013, about a ninth of the way into digging a tunnel for an underground expressway. The contractor on the dig staged a painstaking rescue, and Bertha’s slowly drilling again."


Full story at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-06/bertha-the-giant-drill-is-ready-to-rumble-in-seattle

Wikipedia page on Bertha boring drill https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertha_(tunnel_boring_machine)

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I remember seeing a story about when it got stuck but never heard anything else and assumed that they had fixed it. I never would've imagined how difficult it was to get her going again. Thanks for sharing Steve.

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Yup, typical construction project. Between the client, contractor, supplier and the attorneys can anyone guess who will make the best profit margin. LOL.

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Think about the gold vein they could be chasing!

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That is an enormous pile of tailings at 9,700 foot long dig, never did the math on this but there is going to be a nice rock quarry for someone to work with. Anyone know how far above sea level this tunnel will be?


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According to a July 20, 2013 article in the Seattle Times, Bertha will "bottom out" 100' BELOW sea level when it passes under the current viaduct.  What's interesting is that if they are able to repair it thru the current hole that was dug to get to it that will not be an option later on if it breaks down again depending on what part of the city is above it. 

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That is a big drill!!

Not to change the subject. I worked with some guys that drilled the Bart under the bay in California. The things they found while drilling were very cool.

They drilled though numerous ships that had been sunk during the gold rush to make way for more ships.


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Can you tell us more in another thread?  Can't imagine they would be drilling BART so close to the bottom.



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