Work continues at the bottom of the 120-foot-deep pit where Seattle Tunnel Partners is readying Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, for the rest of her tunnel drive beneath downtown Seattle. With repairs at the surface complete and all major components of the tunneling machine safely in the pit, STP and manufacturer Hitachi Zosen are focused on completing the reassembly portion of their repair effort.Crews are currently welding pieces of the machine back together, and reconnecting hundreds of wires and hoses that are integral to the tunneling operation. Although significant work is ongoing, much of it is can’t be seen from the surface. As part of our ongoing effort to keep the public informed about STP’s work, we asked STP Project Manager Chris Dixon to recap their repair effort to date and explain what’s next as they work to get Bertha moving again. Check out the resulting video, which includes exclusive shots of work occurring inside the machine and the access pit.— more —
October is here, which means the semiannual inspection closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct is just around the corner.Both directions of SR 99 will be closed between South Spokane Street and the north end of the Battery Street Tunnel from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, Nov. 1. Please plan ahead and be prepared for additional congestion as a result of this closure.Closing the viaduct will allow crews to perform maintenance and thoroughly inspect the structure, as they do each spring and fall. Read our viaduct safety fact sheet (pdf 2.9 Mb) to learn more about what we do to keep the viaduct safe and open to drivers until the tunnel project is complete.Survey crews walk the viaduct during a previous inspection.— more —
Future connections between the SR 99 tunnel and city streets are continuing to take shape at the south portal, even if they're only partially visible from the surface. Drivers passing overhead didn't know it, but Seattle Tunnel Partners recently demolished a temporary wall separating the future mainline section of the tunnel from the on-ramp that will one day allow travelers to access northbound SR 99 from the stadiums.
The first photo shows the view from inside the cut-and-cover … more