In this week's news, a city worker in Edmonton, Alberta, died while working on a tunneling project, and Seattle's tunnel boring machine reaches the 1-mile mark as tunneling nears completion.


A 44-year-old city worker inside an underground water shaft under construction in southwest Edmonton, Alberta, died on Nov. 8, while working on a sanitary sewer tunnel being built more than 98 feet below ground.

The city did not release any other details about the incident and all tunneling operations for the city were suspended, as the investigation was handed over to Occupational Health and Safety.

The SW4 sanitary sewer project involves construction of a large shaft with a tunnel boring machine to expand an existing tunnel north of Ellerslie Road and west of Whitemud Creek. Once completed, the pipe will transport wastewater from the Windermere, Heritage Valley, and Riverview areas.

Related: News Brief: Tunneling Machine Inspections Conducted in Seattle

Bertha Reaches 1-Mile Mark

Seattle’s tunnel boring machine, Bertha, has passed the 1-mile mark, putting the drive within 4,000 feet of completion.

The massive machine is more than 200 feet below street level, but will soon begin working its way toward the surface as it nears the endpoint. The opening of the tunnel is more than two years behind schedule because of repairs needed to Bertha.

Related: Tunnel Machine Breaks Through in Seattle

While marking the 1-mile milestone, the Washington Department of Transportation also released a video giving viewers an inside look at Bertha.


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