Pittsburgh Soon To Host Giant, Awesome Machine

The North Shore Connector is described thusly by the Port Authority website:

The North Shore Connector project will extend Port Authority’s Light Rail Transit System, the T, 1.2 miles from the Gateway Subway Station underneath Stanwix Street and the Allegheny River – in twin bored tunnels below the river – to the North Shore.

That’s a very dry assessment.

The current leg of construction involves closing Stanwix. They’re digging a big pit across the river so the above machine can be lowered within said pit, and then commanded to drill its cylindrical little heart out. The pit on Stanwix will be the end point of its journey underneath the Allegheny river, a trek expected to take at least 7 months. This machine, called the TBM (or Tunnel Boring Machine) will then be turned around and sent back, this time to dig a second tunnel.

You might have seen a TBM recently in Ocean’s 13, which made it seem about 1/10 as cool as it actually is. While I don’t think it will be used to cause a fake earthquake in the coming North Shore casino complex, the timing of these two projects can’t be overlooked.

1 Comment so far

  1. Mark Rauterkus (unregistered) on July 11th, 2007 @ 12:31 pm

    This tunnel under the rivers for the tiny gain in light rail is a bad deal for the city, the region and the nation.

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