Metro retires excavating machine used to dig Crenshaw-LAX Line

LEIMERT PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A retirement party was held Friday morning for the massive piece of machinery that helped bore two tunnels for the Crenshaw-LAX Line.

The 950-ton machine, nicknamed Harriet, did quite the job when it began excavating twin tunnels under Crenshaw Boulevard in April of 2016.

"It's a fulfillment of a dream and a vision of so many people," Los Angeles Metro Board Member Jacquelyn DuPont-Walker said.

Harriet moved at an average speed of 60 feet per day.

"It's just a very a step-by-step process and you can't just go 300 feet a day in this type of ground," Peter Shea, president of Shea Construction explained.

The tunnels will connect three underground stations on the 8.5 mile line between the Green Line and Expo Line. A total of eight new stations will serve the communities of Crenshaw, Inglewood, Westchester and the Los Angeles International Airport.

"For the first time in the history of this city, we will have public transportation into our international airport," Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said.

The project was on schedule to be completed and ready for riders in the fall of 2019.

"This is a 40 year dream come true, and to have Harriet as our vehicle, symbolizing Harriet Tubman who brought freedom to so many, it is just a good time to be here," DuPont-Walker said.

Metro said Harriet could be used again if plans for new tunnels at similar sizes and with similar ground conditions were needed in the future.
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