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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

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Rosie the Tunnel Boring Machine

Facts About Rosie

  • Christening Rosie the tunnel boring machineRosie is the tunnel boring machine (TBM) that constructed Portland, Oregon's East Side Big Pipe.
  • Project officials named the tunnel boring machine Rosie because Portland is the City of Roses.
  • The firm Herrenknecht (heron-connect) manufactured Rosie in the city of Schwanau, Germany in 2006 at a cost of $12 million.
  • A cargo ship carried the TBM in sections from Germany to the Port of Vancouver in March 2007.
  • Portland’s East Side CSO Tunnel contractor, the join venture of Kiewit-Bilfinger Berger (KBB), assembled the TBM at the bottom of the project’s main mining shaft, the Opera Shaft.
  • The fully assembled TBM, including the supporting equipment it pulled behind, was 220 feet long and 25 feet in diameter.
  • The TBM itself weighed 530 tons, about the same as 26 TriMet buses; the 25-foot diameter cutterhead alone weighed 88 tons.
  • Rosie began mining toward Swan Island in June 2007.
  • Rosie entered the Port Center Way Shaft on Swan Island on October 30, 2009, completing the more than 4-mile long north drive.KBB contracted with Emmert International to remove the TBM from the Port Center Way Shaft, barge it back up the Willamette River and return it to the Opera Shaft.
  • A 700-ton gantry crane hoisted the TBM out of the Port Center Way Shaft in two sections; the main section weighed 460 tons and the tail shield weighed 70 tons.
  • Inside the East Side Big PipeEmmert International loaded the TBM sections on self-propelled transport vehicles that moved them to a dry dock on the north end of Swan Island.
  • Both transport vehicles were loaded on a 300-foot barge for the trip upriver; the barge can haul a load of up to 4,800 tons.
  • Rosie was barged back to the Opera Shaft on Wednesday, December 16, 2009; the trip took about one hour.
  • Other large objects moved by barge on the Willamette River in Portland include Portlandia in October 1985 (38 feet high, 6.5 tons) and the HK-1 Flying Boat, aka the Spruce Goose, in October 1992 (79 feet high, 150 tons)
  • Rosie was refurbished, then reassembled in the Opera Shaft for the 8,800 feet south drive to the SE 17th and McLoughlin Shaft.
  • Rosies leaves the East Side Big Pipe, mission accomplishedRosie completed construction of the 6-mile long East Side CSO Tunnel in October 2010.
  • KBB scrapped Rosie's cutterhead and sent other TBM segments back to Herrenknecht in Germany.
  • When the East Side CSO Tunnel is activated in winter 2011, it will prevent more than two billion gallons of combined sewage from reaching the Willamette River every year.