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Dramatic Picture of Breakthrough of Transit Tunnel From Downtown to Capitol Hill
Old 04-03-2012, 03:23 PM   #1
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Dramatic Picture of Breakthrough of Transit Tunnel From Downtown to Capitol Hill

Second U-Link Breakthrough at Capitol Hill - Seattle Transit Blog

Some may not be interested in this, but I have noticed a lot of Seattle people showing up on the board lately. Also, I would always be interested in local information from anyone's city. The engineering on this thing appears to have been perfect. Boom! they came through ahead of time and on spot. And this is not an easy place to build tunnels.

This is a few blocks from where I live, and before long I won't have to walk or bus downtown to catch a train to the Airport. Seattle has not had RT for long, and many of us transit-riders really appreciate it. Next destination is the University District, a bit to the north. I believe that is scheduled to open sometime mid-decade. Next on to Northgate Shopping Center and eventually beyond the city along I5 to the north. Less certain but IMO likely sometime is the Bellvue/Redmond link, which has important tech employers behind it, but a few powerful developers against. (Allegedly from fears that RT would bring riff-raff to the upscale Bellevue Square Mall.)

Riff-raff like me. Bellevue Mall is a premier place for girl watching, and at the same time staying out of the wind and rain.

Ha
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
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Thanks, Ha
I would not likely have seen that.

FWIW, Freeman has the riff-raff issue backwards. Let them circle that steaming pile in their suv's if they want to!
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Second U-Link Breakthrough at Capitol Hill - Seattle Transit Blog

Some may not be interested in this, but I have noticed a lot of Seattle people showing up on the board lately. Also, I would always be interested in local information from anyone's city. The engineering on this thing appears to have been perfect. Boom! they came through ahead of time and on spot. And this is not an easy place to build tunnels.
Why not? (I have no idea what the geology is like under Seattle.)

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Originally Posted by haha
This is a few blocks from where I live
Sounds like your property value is about to go up a notch or two. Not to mention your quality of life. It's nice to have great public transit close by like that.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting Ha!

I looked at all the photos and they did hit the hole dead on. I read some engineering reports on other tunnels that have drilling augers several hundred feet long. They constantly monitor the coordinates and elevation of the auger ends to maintain the vectors that will end at the precise spot. Similar techniques were most likely used in the Seattle tunnel. Heck - I'd go back to work full time if I could work on a project like that.

It looks like this will provide great access to mass transit around town.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:27 PM   #5
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Why not? (I have no idea what the geology is like under Seattle.)



Sounds like your property valuetax is about to go up a notch or two. Not to mention your quality of life. It's nice to have great public transit close by like that.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:37 PM   #6
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DD moved to Bellvue 9 months ago. SIL stayed in Austin, Texas to complete 5 years at his company and get the house ready for sale etc. He just started a new job today and will soon be selling up and moving to Bellvue. DD says that she can travel to work on public transportation so they are not going to take their old car with them and try living as a 1 car family.

We look forward to visiting them next month.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:31 PM   #7
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It looks like Seattle needs some more fiber in its diet.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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Very cool. But I was hoping for more when I saw "Breakthrough at Capital Hill"! If machines could fix that, it would be fixed I guess.

But the sun was shining for the picture!

The Chicago 'Deep Tunnel' project is massive, but no one ever sees it. Just deep tunnels to store rain run-off so that it does not overflow the sewage into Lake Michigan.

-ERD50
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:26 AM   #9
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Here in New York, we have a local cable TV show (actually, a replay of a History Channel series) called "Tunnellers" which shows some of the behind-the-scenes work on 3 ongoing tunnel projects in the NYC area - Water Tunnel #3, the extension of the #7 Subway line to the Javits Center, and the East Side access project to bring the Long Island Rail Road into Grand Central Station.

In last week's episode, they showed a dramatic breakthrough from the new water tunnel into a section of one of the existing water tunnels built about 100 years ago (it did not have water in it, of course). Many of the men ("sandhogs") took pictures of the ancient tunnel and took with them some of the bricks in the debris as souvenirs and marveled at how that tunnel was built with the construction technologies which existed 100 years ago.

Episode Guide - Tunnellers on History
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:13 AM   #10
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I wish I had seen that show. We have a lot of tunneling going on around here now, and I wish I understood more of the technology. BTW-was Penn Station formerly the end of the line for the LIRR?

Ha
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:06 AM   #11
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I wish I had seen that show. We have a lot of tunneling going on around here now, and I wish I understood more of the technology. BTW-was Penn Station formerly the end of the line for the LIRR?

Ha
Penn Station has always been a western terminus for the LIRR even though the station is not really a "terminal" beause it as active train service coming and going from the east and west. The East Side Access project under construction would add (or divert, not sure how it will shake out) trains into Grand Central Station which is on the east side of Manhattan. Grand Central already is the southern terminus for the Metro North commuter rail system which serves NYC's northern suburbs as well as southern Connecticut. But when Amtrak pulled out of Grand Central in the mid-1990s and consolidated all of its service into Penn Station, this freed up track and platform space in Grand Central. A tunnel under the East River (the 63rd Street Tunnel) had already been built so all that remained was to connect the tunnel to existing infrsatructure at both ends.

In the TV show, they showed how a new generation of tunnel boring machines could replace the use of explosives in a lot of the work. This is very useful because it would cause less shaking and danger to the buildings on the streets. And it was far less hazardous for the workers. But it could also cost many of those TNT experts their jobs.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:40 AM   #12
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In the TV show, they showed how a new generation of tunnel boring machines could replace the use of explosives in a lot of the work. This is very useful because it would cause less shaking and danger to the buildings on the streets. And it was far less hazardous for the workers. But it could also cost many of those TNT experts their jobs.
Thanks for the history. My memory is that the New Haven RR went to Penn Station, but my days riding that one are far off now and I am not certain. The grand old train stations were pleasant spaces, unlike the soul killing atmosphere of an airport. My first trip to NYC was age 6, with my Grandfather and Grandmother, on the Pennsy from southern OH.

Regarding blasting, I don't think any blasting to speak of has been used in the tunneling for our Link RT. I guess what I said earlier-that this was not the easiest place to tunnel- was likely wrong. I think our subsoil is mostly glacial till. I don't know how deep.

Ha
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:31 PM   #13
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Ha, the railroad tracks which run east of New Haven along the CT shoreline go into both Penn Station and Grand Central Station. Metro North goes into Grand Central while Amtrak goes into Penn Station. There is a split near New Rochelle where the Metro North line connects with other tracks to go to Grand Central while the Amtrak line heads towards Penn Station.

The original and far more scenic Penn Station was torn down around 1963 and replaced with a multi-purpose set of buildings including Madison Square Garden (the new station feels like an airport, I used it daily or frequently for more than 20 years). Grand Central remains intact.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:38 PM   #14
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I'm guessing the bore for the waterfront tunnel will be considerably trickier than the trains, even though it's shorter. Boat hulls, mill foundations, cedar stumps...quite a bit more sporting.
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