After being sidelined for nearly 16 months from her hobby of building infrastructure projects underneath major cities, area grandmother Bertha Slocum is said to be on track to resume her latest endeavor: building a massive highway tunnel along the Seattle waterfront.
“After I retired, I had a lot of extra time to devote to my crafts projects,” said Bertha. “I realized that tunneling under Seattle was something I had wanted to do for a long time. I figured, hey, I’m not getting any younger. So I went for it!”
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Bertha won the tunneling contract in 2012, beating out major international construction firms on the promise of delivering the project on time and on budget. But in late 2013 she was forced to put her hobby on pause in favor of training for a national seniors’ shuffleboard-bridge-knitting triathlon.
“You know, I guess I just kind of overdid it with the tunnel too, and I decided I needed to take a break,” she admitted in a recent interview. “But I’m no quitter! I’m going to get back to it real soon. You can count on it!”
Construction engineers remain skeptical, and some have even proposed replacing Bertha with a tunneling machine, a move that Bertha has labeled wasteful and unnecessary. “You don’t need any $2 billion machine to dig that tunnel. All you need is good ol’ Bertha!”
Matt the Engineer
Hey, she might finish faster. The last deep bore tunnel in Seattle was built before she was born, by hand in about a year.
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