Saturday, January 4, 2014

Know we left it around here somewhere

Look before you tunnel, unless you're a contractor for the WSDOT;
A steel pipe may be blocking Bertha, the machine that is digging the tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
Officials indicated that the pipe was put there in 2002 by state Department of Transportation contractors and that Bertha ran into the pipe days before it ground to a halt.
They didn't have a clue?
Bertha mined through the steel pipe three to four days before it stopped moving, officials said. The pipe came 6 to 7 feet out of the ground and crews removed it. However, more of the pipe was still underground.
Consultants assured the Department of Transportation that what remained of the pipe would not be an issue moving forward. When Bertha stopped, they didn't guess it was because of the pipe.
"At that point in time, we were pretty convinced (the culprit) was something else," said Matt Preedy, deputy administrator of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program.
Officials declined to comment on how long the current delay might last, only saying that they're exploring options on how to further investigate the problem.
"We don't want to push this thing 'til we know once and for all the extent of the issue," Preedy said.
Likewise, they did not hazard a guess on how much money this delay is costing.
After all, it isn't their money.

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