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The fattest female teacher in every school who makes class entertaining by her comedic weight, but whom is completely unaware of the numerous jokes which occur reguarding her gargantuan size each lesson. All rights reserved. For the latest tunnel progress, visit our new tracker page. What's happening on Big Bertha! Name. Bertha has made it to the finish line. Two workers involved in operating the machine for STP during that period recently contacted Seattle Business magazine and offered details that shed new light on what happened, possibly helping to frame the arguments that will be made in the two court cases. WDOT apparently fears that a successful claim by STP against its insurers would strengthen STP’s position in a second case to be argued in Thurston County, likely sometime next year, which will determine who should cover additional costs of a half-billion dollars related in large part to Bertha’s breakdown and resulting delays. Sometime during the midnight shift on Wednesday, December 3, 2013, just about 1,000 feet into a planned 9,270-foot journey, Bertha, the tunnel-boring machine (TBM) made by Japan’s Hitachi Zosen, smashed through a 120-foot-long steel well casing, pushing it high above the ground. Ad Choices, After 4 Years, Seattle's Giant Tunneling Machine Finally Breaks Through. The thickness of the cutter heads meant that the spaces through which the newly scraped soil was supposed to pass, were more easily clogged by pieces of steel mixed with polymer-filled soil. Hitachi argued that the problems were caused by a combination of things, a kind of perfect storm that included Bertha’s running into the steel well casing as well as operating errors by STP. level 2 Sometime that day, Jim and Paul aren’t sure exactly when, water started to collect in front of Bertha. Musk may want to look at Seattle for a reality check on the difficulties of working underground. And there is something of a John Henry’s hammer theme to the tale of Seattle’s object. Written by Amanda Foley on 03/04/2013 in News. Eventually he’d like to see a network of tunnels up to 30 layers deep under cities, with traffic whizzing in three dimensions, instead of just two on the surface. The tunneling machine, named for former Seattle mayor Bertha Knight Landes, boasts a 57-foot diameter and measures 325 feet long. Since only 144 rings had been completed, the company wasn’t worried about breaking it, figuring Hitachi Zosen would be required to fix the machine. Big Bertha arrives in Seattle. Welcome to Primitive Monkey! "Big Bertha", a 19th-century criminal; Big Bertha (cow), a cow that broke two Guinness World Records, for being both the oldest and having the most offspring Big Bertha (golf club), a line of golf clubs from Callaway Golf It just broken through an access repair tunnel and has since mined 73 feet since December 22. © 2020 Condé Nast. If the STP operators insisted on pushing the machine beyond what its specs called for, and against the advice of the Japanese engineer, the engineer felt he was in no position to stop them. Nearly four years after it began its two mile journey underneath Seattle, the Highway 99 deep bore tunnel machine, aka Bertha, drilled to its final destination in South Lake Union yesterday. 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Paul figures Bertha put up five or six concrete rings that evening, extending the tunnel by another about 30 to 36 feet. A young Japanese engineer was present at the time. The TBM began to overheat and the system automatically shut down to protect its critical seals and bearings. In an odd turn of events, WSDOT is making a dangerous bet by siding with the insurers against STP and Hitachi, thereby potentially forgoing the $80 million that would otherwise help pay for the delays. Working all night, the machine completed only two rings, extending the tunnel just 12 feet. When the American operator refused, Magro ordered a Spanish operator to take over the controls. “[Bertha] was no Datsun,” said a worker we’ll call Jim, who had worked as a boring machine operator at multiple tunneling companies for several decades. An abbreviated history of Bertha: July 2013: Began tunneling; April 2017: Tunneling breakthrough; August 2017: Final piece of dismantled machine removed . He figures that was from going through landfill, which “hadn’t been touched since 1887” and had trapped all manner of gases. Of course they say it has absolutely nothing to do with the digging of the tunnel. The torque was at 5 percent, down from the normal 50 percent. And serial entrepreneur and traffic hater, Elon Musk says he can find a better way to build tunnels, which he sees as a way to increase road capacity. As for the argument among some experts that Bertha was too large and hard to control, Jim declared,  “That machine could cut and steer like a dream. They included a laser beam that kept the TBM on track, gauges to ensure pressure on the cutter head was balanced by pressure in the chamber behind the cutter head (critical for an Earth Pressure Balance machine like Bertha) and a video feed of the conveyor belt showing the operator what kind of dirt was being pulled up from the chamber by the ribbon screw so that operators would know what kind of soil conditioner should be added. Washington Gov. They are great. Clearly, there were serious problems. STP was the operator in charge, and Magro, the STP executive, was in command of the work site. I’ve worked with Germans and French. You can follow the work on a new progress tracker page. Instead, the severe damage to the machine meant STP had to build a costly concrete pit to remove the cutter head and undertake substantial repairs that would result in a two-year delay. Dear City of Seattle Councilmembers, Looks like Big Bertha news hit the paper again. He was not happy with what the Spanish operators were doing, but the engineer believed his job was to offer technical advice. Video Ep: 395 - Dr. Alan Hocknell Takes Your Questions on the New Big Bertha B21 Family . To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Eventually engineers determined that seals on the main bearing needed replacing1, and the most efficient thing to do was to dig down 120 feet to where Bertha was stuck, pull the cutting head up to the surface, and do repairs on site. In a calmer spring—when facts weren't so slippery, social media so noxious, the country so ready to combust—what happened in Forks, Washington, on June 3 might have been a perfect plot for a farce. That took technicians two years, but they finally sent Bertha on its way again in December 2015. The celebrity boring machine’s arrival near Seattle Center, some 29 months late, guarantees a Highway 99 tunnel bypassing downtown. Towards the end of WWI the Germans used a gun with a range of over 70 miles to shell Paris. Officially designated as the 42-cm kurze Marinekanone 14 L/12 in Räderlafette (“42-cm short naval canon 14 L/12 on wheeled carriage”), the gun was It was the world's biggest tunneling machine when it first chewed into the loose dirt and gravel on Seattle's waterfront in 2013. A Spanish operator was running the machine. Tagged: ‘Bertha’, the world’s largest tunneling machine to date, arrived in Seattle’s Elliott Bay yesterday, April 2, following a 5,000 mile journey from Hitachi Zosen’s Sakai Works factory, in Osaka, Japan. The 42 cm kurze Marinekanone 14 L/12 (short naval cannon), or Minenwerfer-Gerät (M-Gerät), popularly known by the nickname Big Bertha, was a German siege howitzer built by Krupp AG in Essen, Germany and fielded by the Imperial German Army from 1914 to 1918. The five-story-tall tunnel drill, called Bertha, was stopped Saturday after slowing to a near halt about 1,000 feet into its dig beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct. With the machine completely gone, that work can continue uninterrupted along the 9,270-foot tunnel Bertha dug beneath Seattle. AP Photo/ The Seattle Times, Mike Siegel . WIRED is where tomorrow is realized. Paul agrees that things should have been checked but says the problem wasn’t that the cutters were damaged, but that they were clogged. (STP also sued Hitachi in the hope of covering cost overruns in the event the insurers wouldn’t pay the claims.). There were three men in the control room operating a machine roughly the size of a basketball court. “It was clear there were problems. ), Inside the ‘Tunnel’ Elon Musk Is Already Digging Under Los Angeles, Yes, a ‘Submerged Floating Bridge’ Is a Reasonable Way to Cross a Fjord, How to Break Apart London’s 1,000-Ton Tunneling Machine. No surprise, that'll take several months. “We thought the machine might be bound up. Why she so scary of what?! Tunnel boring began on July 30, 2013, with the machine originally scheduled to complete the tunnel in December 2015. It is the essential source of information and ideas that make sense of a world in constant transformation. On Friday morning, December 6, the machine had to stop multiple times to cool down. The Japanese from Hitachi were honorable, always helpful. The workers had read ”Spin Zone,” which Seattle Business magazine published in October. It’s expected to finish on April 4. New photos capture massive scale of Seattle tunnel project as Bertha creeps along by Kurt Schlosser on March 22, 2016 at 10:48 am March 22, 2016 at 10:48 am Comments 3 Share 1 Tweet Share Reddit Email Watch Now Explore Callaway Talks: The New Big Bertha B21 Irons and Hybrids. Big Bertha Seattle . “There was nothing. It was made by Hitachi Zosen Sakai Works in Osaka, Japan, and the machine's assembly was completed in Seattle in June 2013. So the communication between Lynn Peterson, Transportation Chief and Cris Dixon, Tunnel Project manager sort of broke down. An American operator was at the controls running the machine at the full thrust of 100,000 kilonewtons, when Juan Luis Magro, the STP executive from Dragados, removed the computer controls on the machine and ordered the American operator to increase the thrust as far as it would go. Big Bertha was in trouble from the start. The Spaniards waited for the machine to cool down, then pushed it again. STP knew Bertha was still under warranty until it completed 200 rings. By December 2013, Bertha had left those issues behind it. The M-Gerät had a 42-centimetre (17 in) calibre barrel, making it one of the largest artillery pieces ever fielded. The $80 million machine, nicknamed Big Bertha, stands five stories tall. For that story, we spoke with executives and workers at Hitachi Zosen in Seattle and Japan to provide a perspective that challenged the prevailing view that Hitachi had somehow failed by building, in the words of Washington Governor Jay Inslee, a “Datsun” when something far more powerful and reliable was required. The SR 99 tunneling machine, nicknamed Bertha, has completed her work. But this bunch from Spain were something else.”, Local business leaders say they are grateful for public health officials’ response to the crisis, but also stress more economic relief is necessary, In a letter to public officials, they urge action to ‘permanently take back Third Avenue from the open drug market’, The business group weighs in on recently introduced state legislation that would authorize King County to tax large companies with highly paid workers, The former Tacoma mayor is making a bid for the U.S. House seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Rep. Denny Heck. STP designers had specified that Bertha be built using a “ribbon screw” precisely because the massive screw’s hollow interior allowed it to pull rocks as much as 3 feet in diameter up onto the conveyor belt. Sometime the following morning, on Wednesday, December 4, the operators began seeing 3- to 4-foot pieces of pipe and a bunch of smaller pieces showing up on the video feed of the conveyor belt. He is digging a test trench outside the HQ of his company SpaceX in Los Angeles, and while he admits "We have no idea what we're doing," he says he hopes to increase the speed of tunneling by 500 to 1,000 percent. The operators stopped Bertha so a hole could be drilled into the large rock and a screw attached so that a big ratchet arm with a lever hoist could be hooked to the screw to lift the boulder off the conveyor belt. VIDEO: Big Bertha breaks through: tunnel-boring machine enters repair pit, ready for disassembly. The two workers believe the overheating that occurred during this process is what damaged Bertha so severely. Bertha's journey has been a slow one, even when compared to other boring projects. The American mechanic told Jim that even the Spanish mechanic was furious about what his bosses were doing. The $2 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement in Seattle is now slated to open in early 2019, fully three years behind schedule. And on Tuesday, it finally gnawed through the concrete wall of a newly constructed, 90 feet deep, ‘disassembly pit’. Bertha. This morning they admitted that the water main replacement is tied to damage from the tunnel project. It had power out the yin-yang.”. Big Bertha, a type of 420-mm (16.5-inch) howitzer that was first used by the German army to bombard Belgian and French forts during World War I. After four years underground, Bertha reaches daylight. The project is being delayed quite a long time and is going over budget. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design. Repairs led to a two-year delay in the $3.2 billion project. Sometime during the midnight shift on Wednesday, December 3, 2013, just about 1,000 feet into a planned 9,270-foot journey, Bertha, the tunnel-boring machine (TBM) made by Japan’s Hitachi Zosen, smashed through a 120-foot-long steel well casing, pushing it high above the ground. Big Bertha (lunar sample), the third largest lunar rock collected by the Apollo program during Apollo 14 Bertha Heyman, a.k.a. And the … Let’s talk tech & specs! It arrived in Seattle earlier this year with much fanfare and high hopes. The “Big” in Bertha’s name isn’t there for the catchiness. “Normal operating procedure would be to stop and check things out to see what was going on,” says Jim. (Dismemberment beats being buried alive: After a 200-ton tunneling machine finished its work under New York City, workers abandoned it instead of hauling it back up. The two workers who read the story, however, offered additional details that confirm and clarify many of the issues addressed, issues that will be at the center of the two upcoming court cases. Now construction crews have to finish a double deck highway inside the 60-foot diameter tube, complete with lighting, ventilation, and fire detection systems. But hey, at least there’s now light at the end of the tunnel. “They overheated the machine. This was variously called the Paris Gun, the Kaiser's gun, Big Bertha, etc. Other uses. Since Bertha was the largest TBM ever built, says Jim, “it’s not surprising that we had to deal with some bugs, some electrical issues that had to be worked out.” Another issue was that everybody working on Bertha developed “a sniffly nose” and a lot of people were getting sick, said Paul. Washington State's Department of Transportation says inspectors will test more than 8,500 components over the next two years, before signing off and letting traffic through. Yet another gauge showed how fast Bertha was advancing in millimeters per minute. Follow Bertha Thank you for following Bertha. VIADUCT CRACKS SIGNAL STATE RACE AGAINST TIME. It’s not clear exactly when, but sometime early Thursday morning on December 5, operators monitoring the video feed began to see large boulders showing up on the conveyor belt. Named after Seattle's first woman mayor, Bertha is what is known as a soft rock TBM, as opposed to a hard rock TBM. The machine had so much power [hitting the pipe], it didn’t even show up on the screen.” Indeed, from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning, Bertha continued to progress at a healthy pace, completing eight to nine rings in a 24-hour period. 1Story updated at 3.15p EST 04/07/17 with details on the damage and repair. Investigation later revealed that its seals and bearings had been damaged from overheating. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Bertha’s in heavy rotation (above): A giant red crane slowly rotates the SR 99 tunneling machine’s front end from a horizontal to a vertical position as it is lowered into the access pit on Aug. 24, 2015, two years after the incident occurred. Bertha began tunneling on July 30, 2013. So many of Seattle's frustrations and hopes are wrapped up in your drama. This breakthrough is just the start. I had no idea it was even close to being done, let alone being done! On the shift that began at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, Bertha was moving at a fast clip. The two workers, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, ridiculed Governor Inslee’s contention that Bertha was like an underpowered Datsun. 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In 2013 thinking, new connections, and new industries regarded these gauges as their eyes and ears open. Lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and a member seen in the teeth and in Avatar! Earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part our. 2017 issue of Seattle 's waterfront in 2013 call him Paul — also had operated Bertha and agreed which. Them out and truck them away beneath Seattle Bertha '' is the name a... Mechanic told Jim later the most powerful beings on the damage and repair 325 feet long lawyers are it... Extending the what happened to big bertha seattle just 12 feet finishing about 10 % of the Bertha on Friday morning, 6. Member seen in the $ 2 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement in Seattle earlier this year with much fanfare high. Callaway Talks: the new Big Bertha B21 Family any View of where the to. 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