October 23, 2013
In this photo made with a fish-eye wide-angle lens, "Bertha," the
massive tunnel-boring machine that is expected to spend the next 14
months drilling a two-mile tunnel to replace the 60-year-old Alaskan Way
Viaduct, is shown ready to begin drilling later this month, Saturday,
July 20, 2013 in Seattle.
The tunnel will replace the viaduct, a double
deck highway along the downtown Seattle waterfront.
The machine boring a new Highway 99 tunnel under downtown Seattle has finally dug itself out of its own launch pit.
The Transportation Department said Wednesday the 326-foot long machine it calls Bertha has drilled 359 feet.
Spokeswoman KaDeena Yerkan says the trailing gear has disappeared into the tunnel.
Yerkan says Bertha is operating well but is still in the initial phase with about 9,000 feet to go.
world's largest tunnel boring machine is creating a tunnel nearly 58
feet in diameter as part of the $3.1 billion project to replace the
Alaskan Way Viaduct, the double deck highway along the downtown
Digging began July 30 but soon shut down for about a month in a labor dispute before it resumed on Sept. 23.