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(NBC News)   Seattle's mystery of unknown underground object that stopped its big borer Bertha has been solved, and it's the definition of an anticlimax   ( usnews.nbcnews.com) divider line
    More: Followup, Seattle, Downtown Seattle, tunnels, boilers, United States Department of Transportation  
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18740 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Jan 2014 at 9:21 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2014-01-06 09:28:37 AM  
4 votes:
they clearly didn't call 811 first.

2014-01-06 01:17:30 PM  
2 votes:
A couple of things on this story that I've seen over the past few days that, scanning the thread, no one has mentioned (if it has been mentioned my apologies)

First: the casing that damaged Bertha was installed by the Alaskan Way Viaduct project as part of a monitor well during the planning phase. Supposedly (according to the government), the location of that well and the fact that the casing was still in place was passed along as part of the specifications on the project to the contractor. The contractor has basically said that they assumed the casing had been removed and has implied that it's the government's fault for being lazy and not pulling the casing.

But the short of it is, Bertha took a large amount of damage that has brought tunneling to a halt because of organizational amnesia and miscommunication.

The second thing is the pipe itself. People think an 8" diameter pipe is tiny. I've worked on a small rotary drill rig setting 4" casing before, and let me tell you 8" casing is pretty significant. A 5' length of 4" casing weighs several hundred pounds and is almost too heavy for two men to carry unaided, and unless you're an experienced driller with enormous forearms, it's too heavy to spin onto the drill string by hand. It is an absolute biatch to work with.

So if Bertha ran into 8" casing across the length of its entire cutting face, that's somewhere in the neighborhood of several thousand lbs of steel that have now farked up the cutting heads.
2014-01-06 01:33:14 PM  
1 vote:
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2014-01-06 10:52:49 AM  
1 vote:

Warthog: This doesn't address anything. Has anyone seen a picture of the supposed pipe? Has anyone heard from anyone NOT involved with the project that it was a pipe? It should not have taken them this long to determine that it was a pipe that is marked on the utility survey of the dig route. This smells of cover-up.

OH, there are layers of subterfuge here, my friend. Yes, it's a steel pipe, but they're hiding in plain sight. What they don't want you to know is how the steel pipe got there.

It was part of the plumbing system for the secret underground facility where they kept a captured alien ship and its very-much-alive occupants until they were moved to Dugway, Utah in the newly refurbished "Area 51"-style facility there. When they shut down the old site, they must have missed this pipe. Watch for certain contractors in the area to quietly disappear over the next few weeks.

This project was secretly run by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, so expect Darrell Issa to be coming out will new Benghazi charges soon. That was all part of the plan from the very beginning to divert attention away from what he's actually up to.
2014-01-06 09:58:16 AM  
1 vote:
OK, back the 50 million dollar boring machine out and I'll climb down there and cut it off with a sawzall

Thing can chew through rocks but a small metal pipe stops it?
2014-01-06 09:54:32 AM  
1 vote:
I'm still trying to figure out who was disappointed after expecting some sort of "climax" because a piece of drilling machinery was blocked... who built this up, in their minds, to the point where, after being told it was just an 8" well pipe, went "...are kidding? That's it? I waited breathlessly for the news and received... this? Damn, man, damn."
2014-01-06 09:49:30 AM  
1 vote:
You know, this is exactly how Reign of Fire started out.....
2014-01-06 09:47:14 AM  
1 vote:

Cyclometh: docmattic: I'm curious as to what they will do... can the pipe be removed, or will they reroute Bertha?

You can't reroute a giant borer like that. They'll have to send workers into the high pressure area around the cutter head to repair the damaged cutters and maybe remove the pipe.

From what I understand it's like working in a deep sea pressure environment. Bertha is under the water table and groundwater pressure is immense, which is why they had to drill a bunch of wells and pump water out to reduce the pressure.

According to the article, what they're drilling through is industrial filler. It was above ground until pretty recently. They should be well above the water table.
2014-01-06 09:26:37 AM  
1 vote:

czetie: Bloggers/columnists that were speculating ancient artifact/crashed alien ship ("nothing human-made could be so tough!")/secret bunker will learn from this episode... absolutely nothing.

I'm not sure where they get off making that claim, because it was a steel pipe and according to the same type of people steel is so tough that it can't even be melted by fire.

/9/11 was an inside job! Well, inside the ground. Under Seattle. Where it was a steel pipe. Grumble grumble sheeple grumble...
2014-01-06 09:19:33 AM  
1 vote:
That's boring.
2014-01-06 09:14:30 AM  
1 vote:
Bloggers/columnists that were speculating ancient artifact/crashed alien ship ("nothing human-made could be so tough!")/secret bunker will learn from this episode... absolutely nothing.
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