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‘Big Bertha’ Drilling Machine Is Stuck

(CBS Seattle) — Seattle’s tunnel-boring machine, known as ‘Big Bertha,’ hit an obstruction and is stuck, according to KOMO News.

The Washington Department of Transportation says the problem started Friday, when Bertha was first met with some resistance. Engineers and other experts are trying to figure out what is in Bertha’s way. No one is sure yet if the obstruction is natural or manmade.

According to KOMO, Bertha was not damaged at all, but the drilling is at a standstill until engineers can figure out what’s in the way.

The tunnel project is part of the state’s overall $3.1 billion plan replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the double deck highway along the downtown Seattle waterfront. Since July, Bertha has dug more than 1,000 feet and is sitting about 60 feet underground. Bertha has about 450 more feet to drill to complete phase one of the $4 billion project, according to KOMO.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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