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Akron's 'Boring' Machine, Rosie, Breaks Through the Final Piece of the Billion-Dollar Sewer Tunnel

photo of Cuyahoga shale from Rosie in Akron
The $184 million underground drilling machine broke through the end of Akron's sewer tunnel, which about 400 spectators viewed on a large screen at Lock 3. Pieces of the Cuyahoga shale that Rosie drilled through were available to the public.

A major piece of Akron’s billion-dollar sewer project came to an end today, as Rosie the underground drilling machine completed its year-long journey for the project which will keep sewage out of the city’s waterways.

About 400 people converged on Lock 3 to watch a live feed of Rosie, the underground drilling machine, break through the final piece of the Canal Interceptor Tunnel. The party atmosphere included music, food and even souvenirs like Rosie pogs and T-shirts.

Pam Gerus works in downtown Akron and has been following the project since it began. She says the marketing push from the city helped get people excited about Rosie on several levels.

“Well, I guess it’s the industrial part. Plus also the part we’re all paying for it anyway, so we might as well come down and celebrate. Part of it might be the environmental impact; that’s why we’re showing up to support it.”

Thirsty Dog Brewing Company created a limited-edition brew commemorating Rosie, which is being reintroduced this week.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.