In this week's news, a tunnel boring machine in Omaha that is stuck will cost the city an extra $2.75 million on the project; and tunneling under the Hudson Bayou in Sarasota, Florida, has finally begun


The city of Omaha, Nebraska, will have to pay $2.75 million extra to complete one of its sewer overhaul projects because a tunnel boring machine got stuck.

The machine was 70 feet underground between the downtown Hartland of America Park and the Missouri River when it ran into boulders and watery gravel, according to a story from The Omaha World-Herald. The machine had to stop 900 feet short of its destination.

The city council has agreed to pay the contractor for digging a shaft down to the machine and taking it out and then lowering a heavier-duty drilling rig into the tunnel to finish the work.

Related: News Brief: Tunneling Machine Inspections Conducted in Seattle

Omaha Public Works Director Bob Stubbe told The Omaha World-Herald that they didn’t know about the material in that location.

Tunneling Under Hudson Bayou Begins

After years of engineering obstacles, workers began drilling a micro-tunnel under the Hudson Bayou in Sarasota, Florida. The project needs to be done to connect homes on one side of the bayou with a city of Sarasota lift station being constructed in a park on US 41.

Related: Tunnel Machine Breaks Through in Seattle

On Jan. 28, crews launched a micro-tunnel boring machine from a 30-foot-deep shaft south of the Osprey Bridge and will eventually connect to another shaft under the new Lift Station 87. When everything is done, a 36-inch wastewater main will span under the bayou and Luke Wood Park.

Workers will be drilling the tunnel slowly, advancing between 20 and 40 feet per day, according to SRQ magazine.

Prior contractors have left the construction effort after encountering drilling problems in the Hudson Bayou, according to a project manager for the lift station. He says he’s confident every precaution has been made to avoid damage to bridges spanning the bayou or the waterway itself.

Related: A Look Into the Los Angeles Subway Tunnel Expansion Project

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