March 17 project update: Preparing to lift Bertha from the access pit

Posted on Mar 17 2015 11:25 AM
As disassembly of the SR 99 tunneling machine continues, Seattle Tunnel Partners is readying the area to the south of the access pit, where the machine pieces will be set down and repaired. 
Crews have erected the metal frame for the large canopy that will protect workers and machine parts from the elements during repairs. The frame is already visible to traffic passing by on SR 99, but it will be even easier to spot when crews install the canopy atop the frame later this month.
This large metal frame is part of the canopy that will protect workers and machine parts from the elements during repairs.
Meanwhile, STP has told us crews may lift the first of four pieces of the machine’s front end to the surface as soon as this week. Crane operators are adding the final pieces to the massive red crane that will lift the cutterhead and drive unit, as illustrated in STP’s repair video (links to YouTube). Before that happens, a crawler crane will remove smaller pieces of the machine from the pit. 
Inside the machine, crews are disconnecting hoses and cables, and have already removed eight of Bertha’s 24 motors. Removing these eight motors will give crews the clearance they need to lift the cutterhead and drive unit to the surface. The remaining 16 motors, which weigh approximately 8,000 pounds apiece, will remain attached and be removed from the pit as part of the cutterhead lift.
You can track the action on our construction cameras. We’ll also continue to post photos and videos as STP’s work progresses.
Repair plan resources:


Previous updates

March 3, 2015 afternoon update - Disassembly begins

Feb. 26, 2015 afternoon update - Bertha's next move

Feb. 20, 2015 afternoon update - Tidying up the launch pit

Feb. 19, 2015 morning update - Bertha reaches daylight

Feb. 19, 2015 morning update - Bertha approaching the pit

Feb. 18, 2015 afternoon update - Bertha digs on

Feb. 18, 2015 project update - Bertha on the move

Archive of previous updates