Advisories and Updates 2012

2012 Program News

  • Testing time for State Route 99 tunneling machine

    Last week, the world’s largest-diameter tunneling machine received a name. This week, it received U.S. visitors, as State Route 99 Tunnel Project leaders traveled to Japan to witness testing of the five-story-tall behemoth that will begin tunneling beneath downtown Seattle next summer. 

    Leaders from the Washington State Department of Transportation and its contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, spent Thursday, Dec. 20, at the Sakai Works factory in Osaka, watching major components of the $80 million machine rotate, extend, retract and move. Seattle Tunnel Partners will authorize shipment of the machine after testing is completed next month. 

    Crews in Japan will spend the early part of next year disassembling Bertha into 41 separate pieces – the largest weighing up to 900 tons – and loading them onto a single ship. After a month-long trip across the Pacific Ocean, Bertha will land at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 46, to the west of CenturyLink Field. Crews in Seattle will transport the pieces a few hundred yards east to an 80-foot-deep pit where the machine will be reassembled and launched beneath downtown next summer.

    A video of the ceremony is available on YouTube. Photos of the machine and construction in Seattle are posted regularly on Flickr, and we're documenting Bertha’s journey on Twitter. A 10-foot-long interactive model of Bertha is on display at Milepost 31, the project’s information center in Pioneer Square.

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  • SODO overpass construction closes State Route 99 off-ramp this weekend

    Crews will close the southbound State Route 99 off-ramp near Seattle’s stadiums this weekend to complete pile driving for the new South Atlantic Street overpass.

    Thanks to hard work last weekend, contractor Atkinson Construction will not close a lane on southbound SR 99 as previously planned. Crews were able to drive 48 of 53 pilings last weekend. They will drive the remaining five pilings and finish welding on another 20 pilings while the ramp is closed this weekend.

    Closure details

    • At 4 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, crews will close the southbound SR 99 off-ramp to South Atlantic Street.
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    • Crews will reopen the ramp at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for fans heading to the Seahawks game at CenturyLink field. The ramp will be closed again at 5:30 p.m., 10 minutes after kickoff.
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    • The ramp will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday.


    Crews must close the ramp to safely complete work on the remaining pilings, which are located just west of the ramp. The pilings will serve as the foundation of a temporary structure that will support construction of the South Atlantic Street overpass until it can stand on its own.
     

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  • Section of Railroad Way South to close Wednesday and Thursday

    Paving crews will close Railroad Way South between South King Street and First Avenue South from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5 and Thursday, Dec. 6. 

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  • Section of First Avenue South closed Monday and Tuesday

    Paving crews will close First Avenue South between South King Street and Railroad Way South from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3 and Tuesday, Dec. 4. They will turn their attention to Railroad Way South later in the week, closing the street between South King Street and First from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5 and Thursday, Dec. 6. 

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  • Milepost 31 turns one

    Dec. 1  marked the one-year anniversary of Milepost 31. The information center has seen more than 7,000 visitors since it opened, with visitors coming from as far away as Sweden and Japan. A monthly First Thursday speaker series hosted at Milepost 31 offers visitors more insight on the massive SR 99 Tunnel Project and related topics. 

    Join us Thursday for a special guest presentation about the Elliott Bay Seawall Project and learn how the City of Seattle is working to improve this vital piece of infrastructure, while also restoring fish habitat and connections to the water. 
     
    6 to 6:30 p.m. 
    Thursday, Dec. 6
    Milepost 31
    211 First Ave. S., Seattle
     
    Admission is free. Milepost 31 is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and stays open until 8 p.m. on First Thursdays. After the talk, be sure to leave enough time to explore the rest of the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square. Don' forget! Free parking is available for First Thursday Art Walk patrons at select garages in Pioneer Square between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. A list of participating parking garages is posted on the First Thursday Website.   
     
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  • Nighttime bike/ped path detour this week near Pioneer Square

    The bike and pedestrian path under the viaduct from South Washington Street to Yesler Way will be closed from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights this week. Bicyclists and pedestrians will be detoured to the sidewalk on the west side of Alaskan Way. 

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  • Overnight closures on First Avenue South through Thursday

    Crews relocating utilities near the tunnel’s future south portal will close First Avenue South between South King Street and Railroad Way South from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly.

    Our traffic page links you to a full list of construction closures, traffic cameras and more.

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  • Road closures near the SR 99 tunnel's future north portal

    We're preparing to dig a pit in the work zone near Sixth Avenue North and Harrison Street, where our tunnel boring machine will end its journey in 2014. The following streets will remain closed until after the SR 99 tunnel opens to traffic:

    • - Sixth Avenue North between Thomas and Republican streets.
    • - Harrison Street between Aurora Avenue North and Broad Street.
    • - Republican Street between Aurora Avenue and Sixth Avenue North.
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    Our traffic page links you to a full list of construction closures, traffic cameras and more.
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  • Section of Sixth Avenue North now closed

    On Oct. 15, crews building the SR 99 tunnel's north portal closed Sixth Avenue North between Thomas and Republican streets. This section of the street will remain closed until after the tunnel opens.

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  • Overnight closures this week on First Avenue South

    Utility relocation near the SR 99 tunnel's future south portal will close First Avenue South between South King Street and Railroad Way South from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly this week. Don't worry, Sounders fans. The closure start time will be delayed on Wednesday until two hours after the game. 

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  • Road closures near the SR 99 tunnel's future north portal

    We're preparing to dig a pit in the work zone near Sixth Avenue North and Harrison Street, where our tunnel boring machine will end its journey in 2014. The following streets will remain closed until after the SR 99 tunnel opens to traffic:

    • Sixth Avenue North between Thomas and Republican streets.
    • Harrison Street between Aurora Avenue North and Broad Street.
    • Republican Street between Aurora Avenue and Sixth Avenue North.

     

    Our traffic page links you to a full list of construction closures, traffic cameras and more.

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  • Watch us make history

    If you haven’t seen the SR 99 tunnel's south-end work zone lately, you should. The progress our crews are making to the west of Seattle’s stadiums is jaw-dropping, and it’s worth taking a look.

    If you want to experience tunnel construction in person, the best viewing area is on the bicycle/pedestrian path to the west of the construction zone, between South King and South Atlantic streets. We’ve posted a series of informational signs on the fence along the path to help visitors understand what crews are up to. This map shows you how to get there.

    Of course you don’t even have to leave your chair to see tunnel crews in action. Our construction cameras give you the latest view of what’s happening in the north- and south-end work zones.

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  • Join us today at Seattle Center to see the future of Seattle's waterfront

    Big changes are coming to our waterfront – the world’s largest-diameter bored tunnel; a new seawall that protects our city and improves habitat; and 26 blocks of new parks, paths and public space. Join the SR 99 Tunnel Project, the Elliott Bay Seawall Project and Waterfront Seattle for a full-day event at Seattle Center to discover how these projects are working together to transform Seattle’s downtown waterfront.


    Join us today at the Seattle Center Armory/Center House

    • Noon to 6 p.m. - Explore interactive models of the SR 99 tunnel boring machine, the existing seawall and conceptual waterfront designs.
    • 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Geek out on project details during a presentation and discussion with agency directors and industry experts.

    This event is part of Seattle Center’s The Next 50: Celebrating the 1962 World’s Fair and its legacy.

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  • Milepost 31 Speaker Series: Protecting buildings during SR 99 tunnel construction

    Milepost 31 Speaker Series: Protecting buildings during SR 99 tunnel construction

    Thursday, Oct. 4

    6 to 6:30 p.m.
    Learn how advanced technology on our tunnel boring machine, in-ground sensors and robotic survey machines will keep a continuous eye on the ground around the tunnel before, during and after construction. Milepost 31
    211 First Avenue South, Seattle

     

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  • Long-term lane closure coming to southbound SR99/Aurora Avenue N.

    Drivers face increased congestion for the next six weeks on southbound State Route 99/Aurora Avenue North approaching downtown Seattle. Anticipated backups begin March 6 when crews building the SR 99 tunnel narrow southbound Aurora from three lanes to two between Republican and John streets, just north of the Battery Street Tunnel.

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  • East Marginal Way S. Reduced to two lanes

    Until May 31 - East Marginal Way South is reduced to two lanes of traffic between South Atlantic Street to South Massachusetts Street around-the-clock.

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