Posts tagged with "Strong Towns":

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Anything but boring: World’s largest tunnelling machine, Big Bertha, is stuck under Seattle, Tweets an interview

Big Bertha, Seattle's famous tunnel boring machine, is stuck underground again. Bertha was running for just under a month following a two year delay to fix a broken cutter head. And the machine has taken to Twitter, as we imagine it can get lonely so far beneath the city. A little over two weeks ago, a large sinkhole formed while Bertha was drilling the over-57-foot-diameter Highway 99 tunnel to replace the earthquake prone viaduct. No one knows exactly why it happened. Just earlier that day, a nearby Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) barge tilted, offloading tunnel dirt into Elliot Bay and dismantling part of a dock. The 15-foot-deep, 20-feet-wide, and 35-foot-long sinkhole was quickly filled with 250 cubic yards of concrete and sand. But Bertha is still stuck. STP wants to start Bertha again, but the Washington State Department of Transportation (WDOT) hasn't given them the necessary written permission to move forward yet. SDOT says they need more information. But enough of the dismal facts and figures. And now, for something different: The nonprofit blog Strong Towns interviewed @StuckBertha, Bertha's unofficial Twitter account, in January. Enjoy some excerpts from their tongue-in-cheek conversation, below. Check out the full interview on the Strong Towns blog. We all hope Bertha gets unstuck very soon.
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Eavesdrop> Minnesota engineer speaks truth to power

“Can you be an engineer and speak out for reform?” That’s the question one civil engineer and blogger posed on his website, strongtowns.org, after a former American Society of Civil Engineers fellow filed a complaint with his state licensing board. According to the blogger, Charles Marohn, it was retaliation for a post critiquing Minnesota’s plan to spend much of its transportation budget on new construction instead of maintenance. http://youtu.be/P9BUyWVg1xI The impulse to build more and more was indicative of a much larger problem in the profession, and in U.S. urban planning. “[Our system is] one big Ponzi scheme attempting to prop up a rolling development extravaganza of strip malls, big box stores, fast food, and cheap residential housing,” wrote Marohn. Eaves certainly doesn’t want to incur the wrath of the Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience & Interior Design (whew!), but bravo to Marohn for spilling some digital ink on the subject of smart growth that restores some meaning to the word “smart.”