Monday, May 18, 2015

Update on the Tunnel Drilling Project in Seattle

As you no doubt recall, Seattle is about drilling a tunnel to replace the aging Seattle Viaduct. The drilling machine, affectionately known as Bertha, advanced 1,000 feet or so, threw up in her socks and died.  Since then, a rescue pit has been dug and the cutter head has been brought to the surface to make repairs.  The news is not good, the damage is much worse than was originally anticipated.
In a report to the Seattle City Council, DOT officials said the massive drilling machine's outer seals and the steel retainers that hold them in place are destroyed. There was also damage to the cutter drive motor pinions and the main bearing bull gear.

Seattle Tunnel Partners, which operates Bertha, is awaiting more replacement parts from the driller's manufacturer in Japan.
Officials had originally hoped to get the tunneling machine back in operation by August, but the discovery of additional damage probably means that the schedule for repairing Bertha and resuming tunnel construction will be delayed even more. A new schedule could be released sometime in June.

The $3.1 billion project is already two years behind schedule.
So, that's what's happening in Seattle.  If I were them, I might be thinking about Plan B.

In our neck of the woods, Mike is able to start the engine by using the pointy ends of test equipment to complete a circuit to the starter engine.  We're presently contemplating installing a new wire to the starter engine so we can leave Kanab.  We would then head directly to Harrisburg, OR for further trouble shooting.  The Harrisburg/Coburg area is still the nexus of Monaco knowledge. 

Unfortunately, the "exhaust brake engaged" light is on when the key is turned.  This is not good.  We don't know what it means.  The RV can't go anywhere without a functioning exhaust brake.

This is all giving me a case of nervous exhaustion. 


  1. Replaced solenoid that controls the exhaust brake, voila.....problem solved. Buttoned it all up this morning, we took it for a 25 mile test drive and all is good. No leaks, runs really well. Hopefully we can put this one behind us now.