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Watch Metro’s huge Harriet drill complete pair of Crenshaw Line tunnels

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After almost a year in service, Harriet’s job is done

All photos by Jose Ubaldo via Metro

For almost a year now, one of the hardest working Angelenos in town has been Harriet, Metro’s massive and cleverly named tunnel boring machine. Since April of last year, the drill has worked three shifts daily to create a pair of 1-mile-long tunnels for the upcoming Crenshaw Line.

Heck, she even finds time to tweet about it.

Now, after 11 grueling months of work, Harriet can finally take a break. Metro's news blog The Source is reporting that Harriet completed her second and final tunnel for the Crenshaw Line, breaking through the wall at the future Leimert Park Station on Thursday morning.

This is the second of two 1-mile-long tunnels Harriet has created to link the Expo/Crenshaw Station to the Leimert Park Station with the Martin Luther King Station in between. Harriet completed the southbound tunnel in October of last year before being moved back to the Expo/Crenshaw Station to begin work on the northbound tunnel on November 29.

Watch Harriet bust through the wall at Leimert Park:

The Harriet drilling operation was an extraordinary undertaking. The 950 ton, 21-foot tall drill is longer than the length of a football field. It moves at a rate of just three inches per minute. A crew of 75 workers dug through about 60 feet of earth per day, removing 144,250 cubic yards of soil in the process to create each tunnel.

Harriet is finished with the Crenshaw Line for now, and unless her specifications match up with any future transit projects, this could be her last job with Metro.

Accordingly, Metro is throwing her a grand retirement celebration at the Leimart Park Station on April 21. The media and elected officials will be on hand to celebrate her accomplishments and send the old girl off in style.

That’s going to be a huge gold watch.