The Crenshaw/LAX Line is due to be complete in 2019, and one very cool element of the light rail line's construction is getting underway right now. The giant tunnel-maker, nicknamed Harriet, will dig an underground path between the Expo/Crenshaw and Leimert Park stations, and it's now been lowered into the ground under Crenshaw Boulevard, says The Source. (Harriet was named via an essay contest, for the Underground Railroad's Harriet Tubman.)
The tunnel-boring machine is huge, and sections of it were lowered into the hole at the Expo/Crenshaw station in three parts. The time-lapse video below shows the slow, careful process (it took more than an hour) of getting two huge pieces of the machine into the ground, and gives a view from inside Harriet as all the pieces are starting to come together.
The "complex network of conveyer belts, wiring and cables" that makes up Harriet will take a month to assemble completely, at which point she can finally start tunneling. According to a fact sheet, the whole tunnel-boring machine is as long as 10 school buses and will be "as wide as the donut on top of Randy's," the famous Inglewood donut shop.
Watch the magic:
And for a couple close-ups of Harriet:
- Video: Harriet the tunnel boring machine is now under Crenshaw Boulevard [The Source]
- Crenshaw Line [Curbed LA]