Like all good penises, this one has suffered a temporary setback, but it'll be good as new soon, I promise. It's just tired. Work has really been a bear lately. Let's just cuddle.
I'm okay with Bert.
Bert? Ha!
@3 Well played!
What could possibly go wrong? Here's another question: Assuming they get Bertha fixed and lowered back down into that hole, isn't s/he going to have to chew his/her way through the 20 feet of concrete on the opposite side? Isn't that going to be a teensy problem?
@6, if it was so damaged it could barely go forward after hitting the pipe and, even in the damaged state, they can chew through 20 ft, hopefully it'll be able to do another 20 ft after they've repaired everything.
Please use Bertha's preferred pronoun.
Which I think is "it."
Still just as likely (actually- more so) to break down again in 1000 feet.
I feel like every time there is a success or a completion on this project, no one cares, but as soon as something goes even slightly wrong (or horribly wrong, I know) we do that stupid Seattle thing where we jump all over it until it's dead and we can go back to complaining about pot-holes and higher taxes at the same time.

I, for one, applaud the efforts of the rescue crew and hope they are able to get Bertha to drill through instead of having to dig it out by hand. Here's hoping we get her moving sooner rather than later. This really is a fascinating, unprecedented project that I'm quite enjoying watching play out.
The question which WSDOT needs to answer is, what is the probablility it will break down under the city where digging to fix it is no longer an option, and the project can't be completed without huge sums of money? Is it 50-50 or what? They are engineers and they need to give a number.

Aside from quitting, the other more conservative option is to redirect the tunnel along the waterfront surfacing at Pike and Alaskan Way.
Rename the machine, after the movie, CHUD.
Time for Plan B!
@12, you can't reroute there without intersecting the existing rail tunnel. Assuming you wanted to meet up with the battery street tunnel. The battery street tunnel would need to be returned, adding costs. And the existing north end intersection work would be wasted, or have to be repurposed, adding cost. Barring another failure, tunneling is cheap.
Sorry, Sydney. I was born female, I associate female, I feel female. I am a cisgendered tunneler. I can't help that long tubey boring machines are the right shape for making long tubey tunnels. I tried taking hormones to conform more to society's image of "female," and it was a disaster. I ran into a pipe and have only moved a few feet in the year since. You can't tell ME there isn't a connection there. I'm perfectly comfortable with the shape I am now.

Besides, at least I don't have a tapered head. That WOULD be phallic.


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