As the wrecked wellhead at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico continued to spew oil into the water for a 16th day, BP moved forward with a plan to cap the leak and, it hoped, stop the ecological and economic disaster.

BP said that it would have a giant, 100-ton dome-like device placed over the wellhead Thursday, which could begin to collect oil as soon as next Monday. Before that can happen, the dome will have to be connected to a drill ship that can collect the polluted water and oil.

Today, a 12-man crew was preparing the steel dome for its boat ride to the site of the disaster. A crane boat will be required to lift the dome and lower it to the ocean floor, though it's not certain that the device will work under the intense water pressures at the deep-water site.