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reply to post by Arken
a better question is - why do you think it should be able to cut steel ?
It's not clear that the Washington State Department of Transportation, which is in charge of this project, is interested in preventing anyone finding out what is delaying Bertha. If they do, they're going about it in mighty peculiar way! The Bertha Twitter site is updated frequently, with news of how the effort to learn the nature of the obstruction is going.
The latest there is that someone made his way in through the tunnel boring machine, and looked out the front hatch to see what could be seen. Nothing was, which seems surprising in itself. Pumping, through existing and new wells, will reportedly continue to reduce the pressure of water-saturated soil, so that a more thorough inspection can be made safely.
I doubt that it would be possible to conceal the nature of the tunnel obstruction. A three billion dollar freeway tunnel project, in the midst of a major American city, involving the largest tunnel-boring machine on the planet has been brought to a standstill. Anything that can do that, whether it is merely uncovered, or is brought out of that tunnel, will be quite conspicuous, it seems.