Contents tagged with home

  • Nov. 25 update: Access pit camera, dewatering

    We’re happy to report that access pit camera 2 is back online after an extended power outage. Thanks for your patience as we worked to restore power. We hope you enjoy the view as Seattle Tunnel Partners continues building the circular pit (pdf 2.5 Mb) that will allow them to access and repair, Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine. 
    In addition to doing some excavation, crews have spent the past few weeks finalizing the system of underground wells and pumps that will allow them to control groundwater in and near the pit. The system consists of 15 well points that extend between 20 and 185 feet underground. The shallower well points are there to control groundwater within the pit. The deeper well points are tasked with reducing pressure in the deep aquifer located beneath the pit. Here’s a graphic that shows the pit and the wells, which are depicted in blue.
    Dewatering wells
    When excavation is complete, STP crews will pour a concrete pad at the bottom. This pad, or cradle, will stabilize the pit floor and provide a resting spot for Bertha after she tunnels through the pit’s southern wall. 


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  • Nov. 18 update: Access pit camera outage

    We’ve received a number of questions recently regarding access pit camera 2, which provides an overhead view of the circular pit (pdf 2.5 Mb) Seattle Tunnel Partners is building to access and repair the SR 99 tunneling machine. The camera has been offline twice in the past month. The first time was intentional, as archaeologists investigated a shell deposit discovered in the pit by crews on Oct. 23. The camera view was restored on Nov. 8 after the investigation was complete. 
    Then, due to a loss of power, the camera stopped working on Nov. 13. The power outage has not yet been resolved, but please be assured that we recognize that the construction cameras are a great way for the public to track STP’s progress, and we’re working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
    To give you a sense of STP’s progress over the past several days, here’s a photo of the site taken on Nov. 18. The access pit is now 65 feet deep – just over halfway down to its final depth of 120 feet.    
    November 18 photo of SR 99 tunnel access pit
    When the issue with the camera is resolved, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, thanks for your patience.


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  • Take a virtual tour of SR 99 tunnel construction

    Keeping the public informed about our work to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct is an important part of what we do every day. Our goal is to give you as much access as possible to this amazing project, which is why we regularly post updates, photos and videos of our progress. We even offer walking tours from our information center, Milepost 31, to a viewing platform that overlooks the pit where tunneling began in summer 2013.

    Unfortunately, there’s one frequently received request … more

  • New narrated video explains Bertha repair work

    As reported elsewhere on our website, work to access and repair the SR 99 tunneling machine is coming along. We’ve heard from some people that Seattle Tunnel Partners’ repair plan is hard to picture. Enter STP’s Chris Dixon, who was nice enough to narrate a video that explains what crews are doing to resume tunneling by March 2015. Watch it on YouTube or download a WMV file.

    Other resources 

    Seattle Tunnel Partners repair work plan (pdf 4.8 Mb) … more

  • What we’re doing to keep traffic moving during the four-day SR 99 closure

    We’ve been asking you to do your part to reduce congestion when SR 99 closes for four days starting Friday night, Aug. 22. That includes things like changing your commute habits and choosing an alternate way to get around.

    But what are we, the agencies tasked with keeping traffic moving during this closure, doing to help? Quite a bit, actually. Here’s a roundup of some of the steps we’re taking to help you and your fellow commuters through the closure.

    Washington … more

  • Traffic shift underway on State Route 99 near the stadiums

    Less than three years ago, crews demolished the southern mile of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. When they did, they shifted traffic onto a new section of State Route 99 south of downtown Seattle.

    Much of that new section of SR 99 is permanent, but the piece west of the stadiums is temporary. This curving stretch of road takes drivers around the SR 99 tunnel construction site and connects to the remaining section of the viaduct near South King Street. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s … more

  • Celebrate Bike Month on our new path

    Just in time for Bike Month, we opened a new permanent connection between the on-street bike lanes south of South Atlantic Street and the shared-use path from South King Street. Here’s a map that shows the improvements, which include:

    A dedicated, 14-foot-wide shared-use path with improved paving.

    Improved lighting.

    A separate northbound and southbound path for more efficient navigation.

    Signs warning of vehicles crossing the intersection of … more

  • The SR 99 tunnel contract you’ve never heard of

    You may have noticed more construction along State Route 99, just north of the Battery Street Tunnel. That work is part of the SR 99 Tunnel Project, but it has its own name – the North Access Project. It’s also being built under a completely different contract than the one we have with Seattle Tunnel Partners, the contracting team responsible for most of the tunnel work. A map of major contracts within the program can be found here (pdf 1.1 Mb).

    Our contractor for the North … more

  • SR 99 tunnel’s north portal taking shape near the Space Needle

    A few blocks northeast of the Space Needle, crews are building the north portal of the SR 99 tunnel. It’s a huge piece of the overall tunnel project, but it’s largely invisible to the thousands of people that pass by it every day.

    About the only place you can see the north portal taking shape is from the viewing deck of the Space Needle because most of the construction is underground, inside a pit that’s every bit as impressive as the launch pit where Bertha, the SR 99 … more

  • Lots to see inside the tunnel launch pit

    You can’t see much from the surface, but there’s a lot of work happening in the launch pit where tunneling started last summer. Last week, Seattle Tunnel Partners removed the giant steel frame that Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, pushed against to start her drive into the tunnel. The frame is now on its way to be recycled.

    Work is also well underway to dismantle the temporary concrete tunnel rings Bertha installed to give her additional leverage at the start of her … more