The album above is a selection of the photos I took today at the Second University Link breakthrough at the future Capitol Hill Station. My only camera is an SLR, so I couldn’t shoot video, and unfortunately, I didn’t have my tripod on hand, so these photos can’t quite be made into an animation, but I hope they convey a sense of what happened. Also, some great photos over at the Seattle PI. Enjoy!

15 Replies to “More Photos from U-Link Breakthrough”

  1. Was the cutter head on Balto turning counterclockwise (facing the TBM)??? Because the cutter head on Togo turned clockwise. I would have thought that these two TBM’s would be identical – why the change?

    Or am I wrong about this? Because I went looking for a video of the Balto break through and I couldn’t find it.

    1. Hi Bruce,

      Thanks for the link; it is indeed a good video.

      But that video clearly shows Balto turning counterclockwise (at about the 2:50 point), whereas the following video shows Togo turning clockwise:

      I would have expected both TBM’s to be identical and turn in the same direction. So my engineering curiosity is getting the better of me on this one — what gives here?

      1. Are the cutterheads capable of reversing? If the TBM runs into a stubborn boulder, it seems like it would be helpful to reverse direction, or to back off and try again.

      2. I would expect that they could be reversed for operational issues. It seems that you would want to be able to “unload” the cutterhead if you needed to work on it, but the Balto video clearly shows it taking multiple turns in the counterclockwise direction.

        That grout wall should be fairly soft, but……

  2. I’m just impressed that they arrived inside of the metal circle thingies that they attached to the wall of the station site

  3. Yawn*, just as I predicted 16 years ago. No significant problems using TBMs in Seattle. Oh but the nay-sayers were out in force back in 1995/1996. Where are they now?

    *The act of tunneling, not the photos…those are awesome.

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