Skip to comments.Massive tunneling machine stuck under downtown Seattle, fix could cost taxpayers millions
Posted on 05/08/2014 5:57:18 PM PDT by Veto!
By Dan SpringerPublished May 08, 2014FoxNews.comFacebook476 Twitter508 Gplus0
At 57 feet in diameter, it's touted as the world's biggest tunneling machine. It was even given a name, Bertha.
But now, after digging just over 1,000 feet, Bertha is broken down and stuck underneath Seattle's downtown waterfront.
And fixing the massive mess could cost taxpayers millions.
The tunneling machine is the key workhorse in a $3.1 billion tunnel project aimed at replacing the Alaska Way Viaduct, a double-decker elevated highway that was damaged in the 2001 Nisqually earthquake. Bertha's meltdown, though, has put the project in jeopardy of being the West Coast version of the biggest public works boondoggle in U.S. history,
Read on for the unbelievably stupid details
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
I lived near Seattle when replacement of the old viaduct was debated. It was CLEARLY going to end up this way drilling a massive tunnel through landfill, if you can imagine, had no possibility of a good outcome. And still, the citizens voted for it. Made me wonder whether 80% of the people in Seattle were a) mental midgets, b) on the take, or c) just run-of-the-mill liberal idiots.
One young City Council member suggested knocking down the viaduct after widening the surface street below. Cheaper, faster, doable--naturally he was almost run out of town on a rail.
If the state decides to get into this, innocent taxpayers in Eastern WA, where many conservatives live, will be expected to pony up for this stupid liberal scam. Big sigh.
Yeppers. Not much of surprise. The people of Seattle voted down the elevated monorail, which would have been much better than the light rail and trolleys they have now.
Probably should have just waited until they extended the high speed rail line from Southern California to them. Tunnels and elevated highways are so yesterday.
I recall a memo put out by Boeing in the 1950s. “In case
of an atomic bomb attack, sit where you are. The front of
Seattle is land fill, so are we. There’s nowhere to hide”.
or words to that affect.
The overriding philosophy in Seattle seems to be “Halt all traffic now.” If you ever drove thru Seattle at rush hour, you’ll remember the horrible frustration of traffic piling up at every single red light, at every single corner, while exhaust fumes poison the city.
This is intentional. No kidding. City Council voted to make driving in Seattle the most inefficient, unpleasant experience in the Western World, hoping people would stop driving into town — ever.
Why not just hire excavators and manual laborers to dig the old fashioned way?
Has anyone tried jiggling it? Lefty loosey, righty tighty.
It was a little surprising to read that it was a city well that brought Bertha to a grinding halt. It’s not like there’s no physical evidence of a well on the surface. Like big water pipes, electric poles, fencing, signs, that kind of stuff. Did the contractor not have someone walking the drill path? What happens now? Is Bertha to be buried in cement and call it a day?
I used to live near Seattle in Kitsap county. The city of Bremerton spent a fortune to build a tunnel so cars exiting the ferry could drive underground 2 blocks leaving the area open to pedestrians. The city then kicked out the only businesses that were there (bars) and now it’s a dark, no-man’s land. Dumbest thing I’ve ever witnessed (except perhaps the condos the city built right before the market crash).
They spent millions to conclude that they should spend the most money to use unproven technology. I don’t know if the announcement press conference is online, but their smug, self-satisfied press conference when they announced this plan was over the top.
And don't forget that Mt. Rainier, a nearby volcano, could take out the city and burbs. I used to live across the Sound on the high point of an island that would probably survive all quakes, tsunamis, and stupidities caused by libs. In a weird way, I sort of looked forward to having a front row seat for the next disaster.
I live there and they are liberal idiots. God help us taxpayers. Also, landfill is unstable and we do have earthquakes. What will happen to the tunnel when there is a big earthquake? I would certainly hate to be in the tunnel when that happens.
Why not? Because it might work, that’s why not. Liberalthink 101.
Simpsons monorail song.
Seattle Monorail Project
Absolutely. I remember the millions spent on ongoing "feasibility studies" conducted by companies consisting of Patty Murray's friends/supporters. I don't know why the taxpayers continue supporting these bums. Libtard ideology trumps logic every time, but trumping their own financial wellbeing is a little hard to understand.
it’s STILL stuck?!? it’s been stuck for months.
Seattle traffic has also been featured in the series of novels by J.A. Jance with Seattle PD detective J.P. Beaumont. The traffic was almost a minor character.
The other problem I have heard about is that Seattle was in a hurry to get this project started so they had Hitachi build and ship the TBM without doing complete testing to make sure this would not have happened.
Yes, I remember that. I think that UW's "city planning" department is responsible for a lot of the idiocy happening in the Seattle area. Might be interesting to dig into that, see who the big donors are. Tunnel digging companies?
Everybody in Seattle is a well educated political scientist, zero-growth, economist, or hemp cultivator. They are running a shortage of civil engineers.
Billy Gates and the other MS midgets have their minions in Seattle to support this sort of irresponsible ‘pork’. Where else would you want to replace an earthquake damaged viaduct with an underground tunnel? Who in their right mind would want to be entombed in a tunnel? unless brained washed by the same people that have so many believing that a certain Seattle coffee is the ONLY coffee LOL
and the sad part is, they are LUCKY it broke where it did and not under a building
Seattle Green Jobs Program Gets $20M, Creates 14 Posts
$1,428,571.43 per job.
But if it makes Gaia happy , it’s all worth it.
Thanks for the chuckle!
Maybe there is a “massive” quantity of able-bodied welfare recipients who could do Bertha’s job. Just a thought.
My brother-in-law is a civil engineer, working on this project. A year ago, he was sky high about it. Now, his morale is below his ankles. He and my sister have two young boys, so he can’t just quit, but he is trying desperately to get another job :(
The bluest skies you’ve ever seen in Seattle!
The hills the greenest green in Seattle!
Like a beautiful child growing up free and wild!
Full of hopes and full of fears,
Full of laughter, full of tears.
Full of a broke-dick boring machine
In Seattle! In Seattle!
Shed a tear for Hitachi. They warrantied the TBM for 1,200 feet of tunneling, and it broke down at 1,000 feet. Oops. There goes someone’s Christmas bonus.
You are very right that they are lucky it broke down where it did, I’m in a small way involved with the rescue operation, and had a sneak peek at the blueprints.
“its STILL stuck?!? its been stuck for months.”
I was wondering if this was the same one. The article is woefully lacking in information.
For six days God could not be found. Finally, on the seventh day, Michael, the archangel, found Him.
“Where have You been?” Michael asked.
God smiled deeply and proudly and pointed down through the clouds. “Look,” He said. “Look what I’ve made.”
Michael looked down, but was puzzled. “What is it?” he asked.
“It’s a planet. And I’ve put life on it. I’m going to call it Earth and it’s going to be a place to test Balance.”
“Balance? What do you mean?” asked Michael.
Pointing to the different parts of the Earth, God explained. “Over there I’ve placed a continent of black people and there I’ve placed a continent of white people. Europe will have wealth and opportunity, Africa will be poor.” God continued pointing to different countries. “This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be very cold and covered in ice. Everything is in Balance.”
The Archangel was impressed. He pointed out a land area and said, “What is that?”
“That’s Seattle,” said God, “the most glorious place on earth. It has beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers and streams, hills, forests and plains.
Michael was in awe and filled with admiration. He asked, “But what about balance, God? You said there would be balance.”
God smiled. “Yes,” He said, “Wait till you see the idiots I put in that place!”
They could have replaced the viaduct in its entirety for about $500mil and less than 1/2 the projected time.
I’ll take “A” and “C”...Alex for one billion!!!
Ten years ago the state put on a massive campaign to raise the gas tax to pay for tearing down the viaduct because it was damaged and engineers said it would collapse any minute
...ten years ago.
China expects to be here with high speed rail soon.
I’m sure there’s an app for that.
No idea, I’m not bright enough to be mechanical, just dumb enough to be civil. We’s just helping dig the hole to get down to the TBM so the clever Japanese can fix it
The crew is still getting paid aren’t they?
” Didn’t they have one of those in Shelbyville?”
Indeed. And the outcome there was no better than the situation with “Bertha”.
Politicians love these huge spending projects. Plenty of campaign donations, kickbacks, and do-nothing jobs for friends come out of them.
When you dig through the fill of the Glacial Till,
It jiggles and wiggles ‘neath the tide.
A Hollywood Terror Film it sure would make,
When the tunnel is filled: SPLASH! after a ‘quake!
Oh who wanted to dig ‘neath Puget Sound?
Was it those of “Seattle Street” or the anti-profit crowd?
Or was it “Shovel-Ready” dollars that turned it around?
A Waterfront Park might best replace,
The planner’s pet project that treadmills taxpayers cash.
To copy Vancouver BC would harm civic pride,
So Seattle must keep on digging to save face.