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Gentlemen, Start Your Roadheaders

Tunnel excavation for the LCLS has officially begun behind the Collider Hall. After weeks of preparing a concrete portal through which to begin digging, crews fired up a machine called a "roadheader," which uses a rotating head spiked with Jurassic-looking teeth to chew through the soft sandstone. Excavation crews will spend the next nine months at work in the tunnel, eventually excavating the underground Far Experimental Hall and connecting to the Near Experimental Hall (NEH) currently under construction.

Recent Images:

The roadheader's many "teeth"

Side view of the roadheader

The roadheader begins its work behind the Collider Hall

The tunnel begins to take shape behind the Collider Hall

Photos courtesy David Saenz and Brad Plummer