Contents tagged with sr99

  • + Why was the tunneling machine built in Japan?

    Based in Osaka, Japan, Hitachi Zosen has successfully built more than 1,300 tunneling machines, a number of them for large-diameter tunnel projects such as ours. It is critical that we ensure the manufacturer of the SR 99 tunneling machine, which is the world’s largest boring machine to date, is at the leading edge of the industry, with expertise in producing similar large-scale machines. Hitachi Zosen Corp. was selected as the SR 99 tunneling machine manufacturer ahead of three other American and international firms based on overall technical requirements, support capabilities, price and schedule.

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  • + How many local jobs are created through the SR 99 Tunnel Project?

    Construction to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct is boosting our local economy in many ways. Seattle Tunnel Partners, the joint venture that is building the SR 99 tunnel, includes several local firms, such as Frank Coluccio Construction, HNTB Corp and Malcolm Drilling Company. Seventy-five percent of Seattle Tunnel Partners' subcontracts – including contractors, consultants and suppliers – are with firms located in Washington state. At the height of construction, the viaduct replacement will sustain nearly 3,900 jobs.

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  • + Will the SR 99 tunnel be tolled?

    In 2013, WSDOT was directed by the Washington State Legislature to raise $200 million from tolls for the SR 99 Tunnel Project. The Advisory Committee on Tolling and Traffic Management studied ways to refine tolling of the SR 99 tunnel to minimize traffic diversion and meet funding goals, and investigate strategies to reduce or mitigate diversion. The committee submitted recommendations in 2014 (pdf 1.8 Mb).

    Tolling is anticipated to start when the tunnel opens in 2016.

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  • + Will the tunnel have mid-town exits?

    The SR 99 tunnel will not have mid-town exits. The tunnel and a new Alaskan Way street are designed to work together to replace the functionality of the viaduct. The tunnel will have the capacity to accommodate trips through downtown, while the rest of today’s viaduct users will access downtown using ramps at either end of the tunnel. Along the waterfront, a new Alaskan Way street will provide several east-west connections to downtown, replacing the function of today’s midtown viaduct on-ramp and off-ramp.

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  • + Why is the tunneling machine named Bertha?

    Naming tunneling machines is a long-running tradition within the tunneling industry. Brenda, Togo, Balto, Rainier and Elizabeth are all names of tunneling machines that are currently or have recently completed tunneling in the Puget Sound region.

    Like most ships, tunneling machines are traditionally named after females and WSDOT chose to follow in that tradition. Bertha’s name was chosen as part of a contest for kindergarten through 12th-grade students. Proposed names had to be female and have significance to Washington state heritage, life, nature, transportation or engineering. Elected mayor of Seattle in 1926, Bertha Knight Landes was the first woman to lead a major American city.

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  • + Will there be restrictions on freight using the tunnel?

    Most freight will be able to use the SR 99 tunnel. Vehicles hauling hazardous or combustible materials will be prohibited from the tunnel, similar to current restrictions in the Battery Street Tunnel and on the viaduct during peak hours. These vehicles will take I-5 or Alaskan Way along the waterfront, as they do today.

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  • + Will the tunnel work for freight?

    The SR 99 tunnel will maintain freight routes through Seattle and preserve I-5 for regional and state freight trips. It will also provide a route through the city for vehicles that would otherwise use city streets.

    Some freight trips destined for Ballard and the Interbay industrial area will likely use the new Alaskan Way street along the waterfront, with its crossing over the railroad tracks to Elliott and Western avenues. Traffic signals along the waterfront will be operated to ensure through trips move efficiently.

    Freight trips leaving Port of Seattle terminals will also have improved access to I-5 and I-90 as a result of SR 519 and Spokane Street improvements and a new overpass at South Atlantic Street, which is included in our south-end viaduct replacement project.

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