Courtesy WSDOT Operators monitor progress from Bertha's control room. Courtesy WSDOT Largest TBM in North America, measuring 57.5 ft in dia, is temporarily stuck along its 1.7-mile underground course. Related Links: Big Tunneler Headed For New State Route 99 Site People Dig Tunnel Boring Machines That Tweet Joint-venture contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners needs divers to enter the chamber behind a tunnel-boring machine’s cutting head to investigate what possibly slowed—and subsequently forced a shutdown of—North America’s largest TBM, nicknamed "Bertha." The 57.5-ft-dia TBM is attempting to bore a 1.7-mile Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement under downtown Seattle. On Friday, Dec. 6, Bertha, which
Related Links: Redesign Required For $4.1-billion Project's Pontoons Cracks Delay Work at Floating Bridge Project in Washington State Construction of 77 concrete pontoons for the replacement of the world's longest floating bridge has reached the halfway point. Redesigned cycle 3 pontoons are floating toward the Seattle jobsite.The new $954-million, 7,710-ft-long State Route 520 bridge connecting Seattle to points east across Lake Washington is part of a larger $4.13-billion project.Joint-venture prime contractor Kiewit-General-Mason is following a sequence of six pontoon cycles. Tugboats began towing the first two cycle 3 pontoons to the lake in mid-October, with others right behind. Cycle 3
Photo Courtesy of Bechtel McCullough at Hanford project site. Related Links: DOE Hanford Site Vitrification Plant Pushes Construction Deadlines DOE Inspector General's Audit Report of Hanford Vitrification Plant Design Control PDF Sept. 24 DOE Hanford Tank Waste Retrieval, Treatment, and Disposition Framework Report PDF Peggy McCullough, named in July as Bechtel National project director for the high-level nuclear-waste treatment plant at the U.S. Energy Dept.'s Hanford site in eastern Washington state, inherited a $12.2-billion project beset by delays and cost overruns since work began a decade ago, with numerous technical, budget and procedural challenges. The complex facility will turn 56
Related Links: Time-Lapse Video of Skagit Bridge Replacement Oregon Bridge Truss Travels On Teflon-Coated Tracks Time was of the essence: It was even built into the bidding process as a key factor in the $8.5-million project to replace the collapsed Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in northwest Washington state.On Sunday, Sept. 15, crews from winning contractor Max J. Kuney Co., Spokane, made good on the firm's bidding commitment by sliding into place the state's first lightweight concrete bridge, with a 19-hour closure of the four-lane interstate connecting Seattle to Vancouver, B.C.Everything about the project was fast-tracked following a
Photo and Map Courtesy of Columbia River Commission Many transportation planners say future options include smaller projects to eliminate existing bridge lifts and ease traffic on I-5. Related Links: DOTs Look for New Design For Columbia River Crossing Columbia River Bridge Design Doesn't Measure Up to Coast Guard Standard Ninety-six employees of the ill-fated Columbia River Crossing, or CRC, project must now pack up their Vancouver, Wash., headquarters due to the sudden demise of a $3.5-billion bi-state project aimed at constructing a new bridge, light-rail and highway interchange to span the Columbia River and also connect Portland, Ore., to Vancouver.
Image Courtesy of Trimet Special cable-stayed design calls for permanent stays to connect to every other bridge segment and continuously run through the pylon, a tactic that allows for a slender cross section. Image Courtesy of Trimet New Willamette River crossing in Oregon will be nation's first to bar private vehicles. Related Links: Light-Rail Bridge Job Awarded Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge There's no wiggle room in Portland, Ore., regarding the aesthetics and geometry of the new cable-stayed Willamette River bridge that, at 1,750 ft, will be the country's longest mass-transit, non-car commuter crossing. All 78 of the 16-ft-long, cast-in-place bridge
Barnhart/Dawn Paul Barnhart's modular lift tower placed the TBM's 745-ton cutterhead on May 31. Related Links: Bertha to Dig This Summer Follow Bertha on Twitter Lowering a 7,000-ton tunnel-boring machine piece by piece into an 80-ft-deep launch pit sloped 3° forced Barnhart Crane and Rigging to think outside the boom. The subcontractor working at the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle opted to use a modular lift tower instead of a conventional crawler crane, saving millions of dollars and valuable site space.The largest tunneling machine built for North America, Bertha—a 57.5-ft-dia unit—will this summer bore a 1.7-mile-long tunnel to replace the
Photo and Rendering Courtesy of WSDOT Officials are scrambling to replace part of a bridge that collapsed after an oversized-load truck struck it. Carrying Interstate 5 in northern Washington state, the bridge is one of thousands that lack redundancy in their critical members. Fast-track construction methods will be used for both temporary and permanent fixes to restore Washington state's main north-south connector, from Seattle to Canada, after the May 23 collapse of an Interstate 5 bridge span into the Skagit River.Washington State Dept. of Transportation officials took less than 72 hours to announce that a temporary structure will be in
Related Links: Planned Coal Export Terminals Spur Opposition in Northwest Coal Facilities Face Challenges Three of six Washington and Oregon coal-port proposals are dead. Three plans remain: two along the Columbia River—one in Oregon, the other in Washington——and another near Canada, north of Bellingham, Wash.Proposals in Grays Harbor, Wash., Coos Bay, Ore., and, most recently, St. Helens, Ore., have all been killed.Houston-based energy giant Kinder Morgan is the latest to drop out, suspending coal-terminal plans at the Port Westward Industrial Park at the Port of St. Helens. The $200-million project—still in a due-diligence phase prior to permitting—was yanked because site
Photo Courtesy of Goldieblox Inc. GoldieBlox (above) makes learning about engineeringincluding how a belt drive worksfun for girls, says its Stanford U. engineering grad developer Debra Sterling. Photo Courtesy of Goldieblox Inc. Related Links: Goldieblox Official Website National Academy of Engineering's Engineer Girl Don't let the GoldieBlox story confuse you.The toy isn't just about a ballerina music box—it's about ripping the box apart and putting it back together. It's about building a spinning machine to develop spatial skills.But it's also about a female engineering grad from Stanford University who aims to make the engineering field more appealing to young girls.