Geotechnical drilling was set to begin yesterday on the 710 Tunnel Technical Study in the L.A. area. Currently the 710 freeway ends along the city of Los Angeles-Alhambra boundary but was intended to run north to a junction with the 210 and 134 in Pasadena. The tunnel technical study will assess the feasibility of building a tunnel to complete the segment. Caltrans and CH2M HILL will be performing the borings which will go up to 250-ft deep. Seismic lines will be performed as a part of the study as well. Source: LA Times.
As 33 trapped miners waited more than 2,000-ft underground for their rescue, a whole team of Chilean government officials, mining engineers, equipment manufacturers and of course drillers came together get the job done. Jeff Hart, a driller from Denver, Colorado was one of the stars of the day. Hart was in Afghanistan drilling deep water wells when he got the call and hopped on a plane. He works for Kansas-based Layne Christensen, and along with 3 other Layne employees, he manned the Schramm T130 drill rig that was part of “Plan B” that eventually became the shaft from which the trapped miners were rescued.
On the drilling platform overseeing the drilling was James Stefanic of Layne, and crew members Matt Staffel, Doug Reeves and Jorge Herrera. The rig and I presume some of the support equipment was owned by Layne’s Latin America affiliate, Geotec Boyles Bros, SA. The drill bits were from Center Rock, Inc. of Berlin, Pennsylvania. The Center Rock CEO, Brandon Fisher, was on site throughout the operation as well.
Read on for more info, photos, video and links on the drilling, drillers and geology of the Chile Mine rescue.