Something unknown has blocked the progress of the biggest-diameter tunnel-boring machine, in use on Earth, Bertha, in Seattle. Image © Washington State Department of Transportation
Bertha precisely built not to be stopped by anything, is now immobilized.
New York Times reports that the gigantic, 300 feet long and 5 stories tall machine, has ground to a halt.
Engineers say: “Something unknown, and all the more intriguing to many residents for being unknown, has blocked the progress of the biggest-diameter tunnel-boring machine in use on the planet.”
The object’s composition and provenance remain unknown almost two weeks after first contact because, “you can’t exactly poke your head out the window and look.”
Chris Dixon, the project manager at Seattle Tunnel Partners, said:
“What we’re focusing on now is creating conditions that will allow us to enter the chamber behind the cutter head and see what the situation is.”
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