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4-mile tunnel cut for water project

August 20, 2008 8:53:14 AM PDT
A tunnel-boring machine surfaced after cutting through 4 miles of the San Bernardino Mountains on Wednesday.The tunnel is part of a water project to help Southern California get through future drought conditions.

Crews drilled a tunnel four miles long, 12 feet wide, underneath the San Bernardino Mountains between Waterman and Devil Canyons.

The machine that was used was built in Germany, shipped over on boat and on Wednesday, the machine saw its first daylight in about five years. The machine was able to push through about 20 feet of dirt and rock per day.

The project started in 2003 as part of the Metropolitan Water District's inland feeder plan. The four-mile tunnel is one in a series that will pipe water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, through the California aqueduct, to Riverside County's Diamond Valley Lake reservoir, and from there, the water will be distributed. The project is slated for completion in 2010.


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