Into the pit: assembly of Bertha set to begin

This week, crews will use a massive red crane to lower the first piece of Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, into the 80-foot-deep pit (pdf 485 kb) where she’ll start tunneling this summer. Reassembling Bertha’s 41 pieces and testing the completed machine will take two to three months.

Crews from Hitachi Zosen, Bertha’s manufacturer, will assist throughout the process. Bertha won’t officially become the property of Seattle Tunnel Partners, WSDOT’s contractor, until she’s successfully tunneled approximately 1,000 feet beneath Seattle.

Our construction cameras offer frequently updated photos of the action, and you can get regular updates from Bertha herself by following @BerthaDigsSR99 on Twitter.