Saturday, December 28, 2013

Poor Bertha

I don’t understand what’s going on with the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Seattle’s raised double-decker waterfront highway. It’s scheduled to be torn down and replaced with a tunnel. Once it’s torn down, 100,000 of us who drive on the Viaduct every day will have to find an alternate road. An attack from space aliens would be more welcome. It’s going to turn Seattle’s already heinous traffic into a gawdawful mess. Right now, though, there’s been a bit of a snafu. The tunnel is going to be built on landfill next to the Puget Sound. Currently the workers are having to pump water out of the hole that’s being dug by a giant tunnel-borer machine named Bertha. I’m no engineer, but it seems like digging a hole next to a giant body of water is a really bad idea. My only building experience was getting Tinker Toys for my fifth birthday, so I guess my expertise is lacking. Even so, I don’t think I would put a tunnel where I had to pump out water. Bertha is down about 60 feet but has only traversed 10% of the way she needs to go. She has run into some sort of obstacle and can’t go any further. Nobody seems to know what is blocking the way. OMG! I am so totally creeped out by this Mystery Thing. What could it be? I say back out, Chunky Girl! Who knows what’s lurking under Seattle streets? This could be a really, really big rock or maybe the Gateway to Hell. If this were a monster movie, cars would get sucked into a vortex or maybe into someone’s TV. I doubt there is an ancient Indian burial ground down there, but you never know. I’d hate to be big Bertha... first of all because of that name. Seriously, one could never be svelte and petite with a name like Bertha. So, she’s definitely in the right business, busting through bedrock and who-knows-what-else. I picture Bertha deep underground, digging happily away. Maybe she starts to hear the theme from “Jaws”. Duh dum... duh dum... duh dum duh dum duh dum... Poor thing. All alone in the dark, dirt and water everywhere. Then off in the distance she hears a menacing voice say “Release the Kraken!”. No wonder she stopped. Just a theory, mind you. Poor Bertha...

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