Rosie Completes Underground Journey to Create New Sewer Tunnel in Akron

A poster celebrates Rosie the tunnel boring machine's completion of a mile-long tunnel for Akron's sewer upgrade project. [Khabir Bhatia/WKSU]
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By Khabir Bhatia, WKSU.

Rosie the underground tunnel boring machine gets a well-deserved rest.  She finished her work boring a mile-long sewer tunnel in Akron.  The last 30 inches of her journey was broadcast live to spectators.  

About 400 people converged on Lock 3 to watch a live feed of Rosie, the underground drilling machine, break through the final piece of the Canal Interceptor Tunnel.  

"There it goes!" said one observer as a video feed showed stone crumbling and falling to the bottom of a concrete-walled drop shaft below Exchange St., several blocks away.

The party atmosphere included music, food and even souvenirs like Rosie pogs and T-shirts.  Thirsty Dog Brewing Company created a limited-edition brew commemorating Rosie.  It is reintroducing the beer this week. 

Pam Gerus works in downtown Akron and has been following the project since it began 284 days ago.  She said the marketing push from the city helped get people excited about Rosie on several levels.

"Well, I guess it's the industrial part.  Plus also the part we're all paying for it anyway, so we might as well come down and celebrate," she said.

The boring machine has created a mile-long tunnel that is at the heart of a court-ordered $1.1 billion sewer improvement project.  The $184 million tunnel is the most expensive part of the multi-year project.

 

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