Giant Machine Tunnels Under Nation’s Capital

Lady Bird, a 400-foot-long, $30 million, 1,300-ton German-made tunnel boring machine, will soon be carving miles of 22-foot-wide tunnel 100 feet below the Potomac riverbed. It’s part of DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project, the second-largest civil engineering project in DC history (only Metrorail is bigger). When completed in 2025, the $2.6 billion EPA-funded dig will keep raw sewage from flowing into the Potomac and Anacostia when it rains hard. That’s what happens now (it’s called CSO, “Combined Sewer Overflow”).

Lady Bird will be underground and out of sight, but you can follow her on her own Twitter account.


“DC Water unveils giant tunneling machine to help cut sewage spills during rainstorms,” Katherine Shaver, Washington Post

“DC Water Takes Aim At Sewage Overflows With Giant Tunnel Boring Machine,” Elliot Francis, WAMU-FM News

“DC Water Christens Giant Tunnel Boring Machine,” (press release)


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