Tag Archives: tunnel drilling

Bertha is stuck under Seattle and the taxpayers are going to have to pay millions, if not billions, to get the giant drilling machine moving again.

Bertha is stuck under Seattle and the taxpayers might be required to pay millions, if not billions, to get the giant drilling machine moving again.

Failures like this do happen, but to me they seem to happen routinely to modern big government projects. I wonder why.

Engineers have finally pinpointed the problem, a damaged seal assembly, that has been stalling the giant drilling machine Bertha in Seattle.

Engineers have finally pinpointed the problem, a damaged seal assembly, that has been stalling the giant drilling machine Bertha in Seattle.

The drill machine is still under warranty, and engineers from its manufacturer are on the way to deal with the problem.

After resuming drilling in Seattle — and only going four feet — Bertha has been stopped again.

After resuming drilling in Seattle — and only going four feet — Bertha has been stopped again.

High temperatures near the machine’s cutting face prompted contractors to stop mining after the drill advanced a total of 4 feet in test runs Tuesday and Wednesday. And that ended Bertha’s attempt to resume mining after an eight-week layoff.

The earlier stoppage remains unexplained. They found some concrete chunks and steel pipe sections in the way, but nothing that could have explained why the drill was blocked. Now the high temperatures pose a more significant problem, as they suggest there is something technical wrong with the giant drill.