It's been a while since we've heard anything about Bertha, the ire of the Seattle taxpayer sitting underneath the city doing not much of anything. Seattle Tunnel Partners released their first update in a while on Monday, even including a video presentation to show what they're doing. They note that the tunnel boring machine will be outfitted with 216 steel ribs and plates (86 tons worth) to help it deal with the wet and tough soils underneath the city. Some of her cutting bits will also be replaced with harder steel, six mixing arms will be lengthened 1.5 feet and stronger rubber seals will help keep water from seeping in. Basically, Bertha is getting 'roided up to try and ensure that she's tough enough to take on whatever else is waiting for her when she presumably resumes digging in March 2015. Seattleites have learned well enough by now to wait until they see it before they believe it.
· Bertha to beef up 86 tons, resume drilling in March [Seattle Times]
· Seattle tunnel contractor releases detailed plan for repairing Bertha [SeattlePI]
· All Bertha coverage [Curbed Seattle]