‘Harriet’ TBM to Dig Crenshaw/LAX Tunnel

crenshaw-lax-harrietThe Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced that the TBM to Dig the Crenshaw/LAX tunnel will be named “Harriet” in honor of Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave, abolitionist and humanitarian in the 1800s.

The TBM will be launched from the southeast corner of Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards and will excavate twin 1-mile tunnels that connect three underground stations. Tunnel excavation is expected to last 13 months.

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The tunnel is 21-ft OD (19-ft ID) and is approximately 70 ft below ground. Ground conditions are soft ground/alluvial, leading to the choice of an EPB TBM, which is being supplied by Herrenknecht.

Naming Contest

The winner of the naming contest is Calvin Mosley, an 11th grade student from City Honors High School in Inglewood. Calvin proposed using Harriet Tubman, who was an African-American abolitionist and humanitarian. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. Calvin’s proposal received 36.11 percent of the vote in this category.

The winner of the TBM artwork contest is Brittany Hernandez, a third grader from Dr. Lloyd Owen Knox Elementary School in Los Angeles. Brittany’s artwork received 43.57 percent of the vote in the art category.

The top three naming contest winners were: Calvin with 36 percent of the vote; Austin Tebson of West Angeles CDC Young n Bloom for “Eleanor” (as in Eleanor Roosevelt) with 30 percent of  the vote, and; Lauryn Brown of Inglewood High School for “Sojourner” (as in Sojourner Truth) with 13 percent of the vote.

The three artwork finalists were: Brittany Hernandez; third-grader Jazmin Zepeda, and; third-grader Johnny Barrera. All three students are from Dr. Lloyd Owen Knox Elementary School in Los Angeles.

Metro invited students from kindergarten through fifth grade to create an illustration of the TBM and students from sixth through 12th grade to write a 200-word essay proposing a name for the TBM.

Metro received more than 230 essay and artwork submissions. Over 50,000 votes were received online. Photos can be found on Metro’s flickr site.

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