Contents tagged with sr99

  • + Was any part of the tunneling machine saved for posterity or public viewing?

    The tunneling machine was owned by the original manufacturer, Hitachi Zosen, and the decision on what to do with the machine was theirs to make. Hitachi Zosen worked with The Port of Seattle and the Museum of History and Industry to preserve several pieces of the machine. The Port of Seattle received pieces of the cutterhead, and MOHAI received cutting tools and the machine's control panel. Most of the machine was recycled or preserved for use in other machines.

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  • + What will happen to the tunneling machine now that boring is complete?

    The tunneling machine will be cut into pieces and placed on trucks to be hauled away. Due to roadway restrictions, each truckload will weigh no more than 20 tons. Some components of the machine such as electrical equipment, motors, and pumps may be reused, but most of the machine will be recycled.

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  • + How many lanes will the tunnel have?

    Each direction of the tunnel will have two 11-foot travel lanes with an eight-foot safety shoulder and a two-foot shoulder. These lanes will ensure enough space for all vehicles and legal size trucks.

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  • + Who will pay for the cost associated with the tunneling machine stoppage?

    In December 2013, Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) stopped tunneling approximately 1,000 feet into the tunnel drive after measuring increased temperatures in the tunneling machine. While investigating the cause of the high temperatures, STP discovered damage to the machine’s seal system and contamination within the main bearing. STP and manufacturer Hitachi Zosen completed repairs to the machine in December 2015.

    In 2014, Seattle Tunnel Partners requested $125 million in additional compensation related to this stoppage. WSDOT denied that request after determining it had no contractual merit. The process for resolving disputes within the tunnel contract is prescriptive. It requires multiple steps by both parties. Should Seattle Tunnel Partners continue to pursue entitlement related to the stoppage, it will take time to resolve. Ultimately, the responsibility for costs associated with the delay will be determined through the project's design-build contract. 

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  • + When will the SR 99 tunnel open to drivers?

    As WSDOT's design-build contractor for the tunnel project, Seattle Tunnel Partners is responsible for the project schedule. According to STP's most recent schedule, the tunnel is slated to be ready for vehicle traffic in early 2019. The state cannot verify the contractor's schedule.

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  • + Did other work continue during the tunneling stoppage?

    Construction at the north and south ends of the SR 99 tunnel continued throughout the stoppage. Crews built ramp and roadway connections at each portal. They also continued work on the operations buildings that will control safety features, lighting and ventilation within the future tunnel. 

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  • + How was the tunneling machine repaired?

    Seattle Tunnel Partners built a 120-foot-deep pit in front of the machine. When the pit was complete, the machine tunneled forward into it. Crews then partially disassembled the machine and made repairs and enhancements. This narrated video (links to YouTube) explains the repair process in detail. The machine mined out of the pit in January 2016 and completed the SR 99 tunnel drive in April 2017.

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