For nearly five months now, a gargantuan drill longer than a football field and as wide as the donut sign sitting atop Randy’s has been digging underneath Crenshaw Boulevard. Nicknamed Harriet, the drill is slowly boring tunnels that will link the first three stations on Metro’s future Crenshaw Line. (She’s even maintaining a surprisingly active Twitter account while doing so.)
Harriet reached a major milestone Monday, her first station break. Harriet has drilled through to the first station on the upcoming light rail line, reports Metro's news blog the Source. Metro has uploaded footage of the machine breaking through the wall at the future Martin Luther King Jr. station, which is at Crenshaw, right next to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza shopping center.
As the video illustrates, it’s a slow process. Harriet’s been at it since April, when she began drilling her way from the future Exposition/Crenshaw station to the future Martin Luther King Jr. station, moving at a rate of just three inches per minute.
Harriet will bore underground for two miles to create a pair of one-mile-long tunnels that will link the Crenshaw Line’s first three stations, all of which will be underground. Next up, Harriet is headed south, roughly one-half mile to the site of the Leimert Park stop. The entire Crenshaw Line is expected to be completed by 2019.