Despite its name, the tunnel-boring machine known as Lucy Diggs Slowe is moving along at a good clip, said George Hawkins, CEO of DC Water. The machine, which is named after Howard University’s first dean of women, is moving at about 50 feet a day as it bores a 2,700-foot-long tunnel underneath First Street NW, according to project engineers.
The digging is on track to finish on time in December. The next phase, which will be done by April, will involve connecting the tunnel to existing sewers in the flood-prone Northwest neighborhoods of Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park. The project should put an end to the flooding.
For some Bloomingdale residents, the work toward a solution has been worse than the problem.