Perhaps you’ve heard of Bertha, the World’s Largest Tunnel Boring Machine or TBM? She’s currently working her way underneath Downtown Seattle, excavating the Alaska Way Bored Tunnel to replace the aging Alaska Way Viaduct. This $2 Billion megaproject is an incredible feat of engineering on so many levels. I was in Seattle in September for the Association of Engineering Geologists annual meeting, and was fortunate enough to attend a field trip to see the launch pit and Bertha before she began her tunnel drive. It was an unforgettable experience for this engineer! In this article I give an overview of the project and Bertha herself, discuss some of the geotechnical features, and share my photos and video. Check it out!
[Editor] National Science Foundation (NSF) Press Release – June 30, 2008. Screenshot Credits: Jeramy Decker, Kiewit Corp [/Editor]
Running for more than 1,000 kilometers along picturesque coastline, California’s Highway 1 is easy prey for many of the natural hazards plaguing the region, including landslides.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is currently building a kilometer-long tunnel to bypass one of the most landslide-prone stretches of the highway, the Devil’s Slide, to help ensure drivers’ safe passage.
Using a new software package developed by researchers at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., project engineers are getting a detailed 3-D view of the rock exposed in the excavation, adding a new tool for improving both safety and construction progress.
[Editor] Click through for the rest of the press release. [/Editor]