Skip to comments.Meet Lady Bird, a massive machine digging out a solution to D.C. wastewater woes
Posted on 02/16/2014 8:39:28 PM PST by smokingfrog
A massive machine longer than a football field is munching away beneath Washington like a giant earthworm. Before its done, it will devour about 2 million cubic yards of soil that has been sitting under the city since the days of the dinosaurs.
It is the most amazing and expensive construction project that no one ever will see.
It will come within a center fielders throw of Nationals Park, within a corner kick of RFK Stadium, nibble at the deepest roots from the National Arboretum, pass below the Love Nightclub and the United House of Prayer for All, go under railroad tracks that carry 1 million-pound trains into Union Station and a six-lane roadway used by 60,000 cars a day, gnaw its way under Home Depots doorstep and then chomp more than a mile and a half down Rhode Island Avenue toward Logan Circle.
Like the creature from a sci-fi thriller, the machine will tunnel along six feet at a time beneath a city largely oblivious to its existence.
Thats the way we like it, said James Wonneberg, DC Waters resident engineer.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Video at link.
I hope the same thing that happened to the Old Mole tunneling for the Bethesda Subway station doesn’t happen to Lady Bird.
It sank in quicksand and it took a long time to get it out. The quicksand was not found during underground probing to see if the area could hold the tracks and tunnel structure.
This could be interesting, and costly.
Hopefully they have better luck with their tunnel-borer than the Seattlunatics have had ;’)
How deep does quicksand usually go?
I think we need to immediately stop this sewage and save something. Minimum an environmental survey.It’s only just that DC feel what they do to the rest of us.
Come on. Bertha, while she’s running, could devour two Lady Birds and have space left over. But it doesn’t look like Bertha’s going anywhere for a few months.
Have no real idea except that it usually isn’t more than 5-10 feet in the few cases I’ve read of. In the case of the DC subway tunnel drilling, I think it was within that range as the Mole didn’t sink out of sight. Probably was a pocket of quicksand in a hollowed out area of the underlying basalt/granite.
These files about quicksand in the jungles may be a bite exaggerated but it is deadly.
I once jumped onto what I thought was solid sand in a phosphate mining pit, and get stuck in about a foot. Couldn’t move at all. had to call for help or I would have had to leave my boots in the cement-like sand and crawl on my stomach to solid ground. Not a pleasant experience, but a learning one.
It's almost like water - it usually goes all the way to the bottom....
I was touring Canyon De Chelly near Chinle Arizona last Summer when our Navajo guide said "oh oh", slammed on the brakes, and jumped out Jeep. In front of us was what looked like no more than a moist bit of sand near a riverbank, but as he tapped his toe in it he announced that it was quicksand and we could go no further. The path to the Mummy Cave was blocked. I would have stepped right into it without a thought, but he told us that another patch nearby swallowed an entire pick up truck last Spring, and it took a backhoe to get it out.
Is the the best quality reporter in Washington? No wonder they don’t know what’s going on in the rest of the country. She sounds like she could barely read her copy.
Better sewage disposal for DC is like a kamikaze operation. :’)
Lady Bird? A slam on the LBJ’s wife?
She definitely did not sound like a professional reporter.
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