In a bit of infrastructure tradition, D.C. Water will hold a ceremony tomorrow to officially name a machine that will dig a giant tunnel along the Anacostia River.
The new tunnel-boring machine that weighs about as much as six 747 airplanes will dig a 26-foot wide tunnel to reduce the amount of sewer overflow that pumps into the river.
“Tunnel boring machines get christened the way boats do,” D.C. Water spokeswoman Pamela Mooring explained. “We’ll smash a bottle of D.C. tap water on it.”
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, will say a blessing for the men and women working on the project. The 1,248-ton machine will then be lowered 100 feet underground.
The tunnel, which is part of D.C Water’s Clean Rivers Project, will hold excess sewage and rainwater before it is processed. This tunnel will connect to a tunnel dug by “Lady Bird,” a similar boring machine (pictured above).
Photo courtesy of D.C . Water