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Machine drills 3-mile tunnel under Lake Mead — PHOTOS

The American and Italian flags hang from the front of a tunneling machine that just finished drilling a three-mile tunnel under Lake Mead and into a water intake structure placed at the bottom of the reservoir in 2012.

Workers from Vegas Tunnel Constructors, a subsidiary of Italy-based construction giant Impregilo, guided the massive machine to within three millimeters of its intended target.

The circular groves in the foreground were made by the machine’s cutters on a piece of concrete that was pushed along by the tunneler Wednesday as it punched through into the then-water-filled intake structure.

The intake has since been capped and drained to allow workers inside to finish building the new straw that should begin delivering lake water to the Las Vegas Valley by this summer.

Information for this report was provided by the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

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