Alaskan Way Viaduct
Bertha, Seattle’s tunnel machine, achieved what officials called “a significant milestone” on Thursday when it broke through a 20-foot-thick concrete access pit wall into a shaft so that it can be pulled out and repaired.
Bertha has reached her goal
Bertha is on the move.
The Alaskan Way Viaduct has settled up to a quarter inch during the past month, but transportation officials say the waterfront structure is still safe.
The manager for the troubled Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project told lawmakers Thursday that the state and the contractor are still battling over tens of millions of dollars in repairs dating back to 2012, but even if the contractor declares bankruptcy tomorrow, the project could still be completed.
A new highway tunnel through downtown Seattle won’t be open until August 2017, about 20 months behind schedule, state transportation officials said Monday.
Settling soil has caused a contractor building the Highway 99 tunnel beneath downtown Seattle to stop work on a pit being dug to reach a stalled digging machine known as Bertha, the state said.
Bertha, the broken-down tunneling machine, moved forward three feet during recent testing, while workers building an underground circular pit that will allow access to the machine finished installing the last of 84 large concrete cylinders known as piles.
Bertha, the machine boring the State Route 99 tunnel in Seattle, will not resume digging until the end of March 2015 and that the tunnel will not open until November 2016, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
It seems that everything connected with the effort to dig a highway tunnel under downtown Seattle is big — from the tunneling machine that stopped working last December, to a large plywood wall planned to shield neighbors from the noise of repairing the machine.