Urban miners have been busy constructing a new water supply tunnel underneath New York City to supply the megalopolis with the water it needs. The miners, or sandhogs as they are known, are about halfway complete with the new tunnel which is expected to be in service by the year 2020. Work on the 60-mile tunnel began in 1970 and the total projected cost is $6 billion and is widely regarded as one of the most complex public works projects in the western hemisphere. When complete, it will help deliver 1.2 billion gallons DAILY to 8 million New Yorkers. The city currently gets its drinking water from two water supply tunnels that were constructed in the early 20th century and have not been inspected or repaired since then. More after the break. (Image credit History.com)
WSDOT released an update on February 7 with some conclusions regarding the blockage that has stopped the Alaska Way Viaduct Tunnel Boring Machine, Bertha’s progress since December 6. Now they don’t think it was necessarily the well casing after all.
They cite two factors that contributed to the blockage. First, the cutterhead was clogged with material. You can see an cool short video of a worker unclogging the cutterhead. Not terribly dramatic, but still cool. The second factor was increased temperatures inside the equipment. STP discovered damage to a seal that protects the machine’s main bearing. They are still determining how the repairs will be done.
If you want to follow the chronology of this issue, read below for summaries and links to previous updates from WSDOT. And Check out the videos too! [Source: WSDOT]