Total Pageviews

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

THE SR99 TUNNEL PROJECT IN SEATTLE... BERTHA'S BROKEN

Okay, this is a regional thing but it entails the lib mindset of the Pacific Northwest and primarily Seattle, WA.

Seattle and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) are trying to poke a 1.7 mile tunnel under the city so State Route 99 (the old highway that was replaced by I-5) could continue through the city after the viaduct and a bridge or two were in essence "condemned" awhile back. 

In their infinite wisdom the local and state politicos went out and hired a boring crew with a big, I mean REALLY big... as in REALLY REALLY BIG boring tool to drill a tunnel that would in effect run the highway under the city. 

There's some complications that many of us onlookers wondered about early on when this hair-brained idea cropped up. One of them was that Seattle's built on... well, SEATTLE... or better yet, OLD SEATTLE. Old, wet, muddy, tidal influenced, crumbling, subterranean, archaeologically sensitive Seattle. That means there's a lot of old man made, built to last debris that's most likely going to be very wet, muddy and in the way of this boring machine. I personally found this to be problematic but then, I'm no expert... not even near an expert on these things. In fact I barely qualify as a neophyte so I defer to the experts. All I know about drilling is when I drill in wood and hit something hard that I didn't know was in the wood it's a surprise at best, a new drill bit for sure... 

Upon hearing about the "drill" idea I couldn't help but think that when we as humans wish to get things done and done right we turn to, (God forbid!)... other human beings who know what they're doing and tend to do it well to git 'r done. 

When the tunnel idea came up (after getting past the absurdity of the idea... me being part of the minority) I thought they'd go with a bunch of rough and tough, hard working, know what they're doing and do it well hard rock miners... but nope. That's not the case. The WSDOT, city of Seattle (need I say controlled by libs), King County, guv'nor at the time (need I say democrat, Gregoire) and the current guv'nor (need I say democrat) Inslee all opted for the extremely expensive and problematic "Bertha" drilling machine. 

So approximately 1,000 feet of bored tunnel, beaucoup taxpayer and highway user bucks later the boring machine has once again broke down, has failed to make much progress, is way, way, way behind schedule and is not rescheduled to resume the drilling until March, 2015! (at taxpayer's expense most likely). 

Now, I don't know about you but throughout my life anything that was named "Bertha" was always prone to breaking something and never seemed to satisfy anyone's needs. 

Usually when the need to get things done and done right and on time comes up in conversation or otherwise it was accomplished by getting good old fashioned skilled labor from the working stiffs of the world who excel at what they do for a living directly involved in the project... 
If that would've happened in Seattle the tunnel would be well on it's way to completion and at least "on schedule".

Oh well, c'est la vie!

IMHO

No comments: