Poor Bertha. She may be stopped in her tracks for several more months. The giant drill being used to dig below Seattle to build a freeway tunnel needs repairs that could require workers to dig a hole up to 115 feet deep to reach the damaged drive system.
The repairs would require the 630 ton cutter head to be detached and lifted with a crane out of the pit. Either way, the repairs will reportedly take months to complete and the tunnel project is already four months behind. By the time the hole is dug and repairs made, it could be summer before Bertha is moving again.
The big question, as delays stacked up, has been who will pay for cost overruns wracked up by delays? And the repairs aren’t expected to be cheap either. If a bearing on the drill has to be replaced, it could cost $5 million.