Wednesday, WSDOT announced that Bertha the boring tunnel machine had reached her latest goal and had officially moved past the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
Bertha’s passage beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct has officially come to an end, but Seattle Tunnel Partners has decided to continue mining a bit farther before taking a short break.
By early Wednesday morning, crews had tunneled 385 feet since the underground maintenance stop near Yesler Way. That put them clear of the fourth and final viaduct column the machine had to pass to complete its journey under the elevated structure. STP decided to mine beyond 385 feet in order to reach a better location for the machine to stop while crews take a few days to rest after mining around the clock since April 29.
Any potential issues were clearly not a problem as the viaduct re-opened to traffic much earlier than expected.
Bertha now finds itself in Zone 2 of her ten-zone journey across Downtown Seattle. Once the machine hits Columbia Street, it will have moved into Zone 3.
So now we live in a world where Bertha not only works but hits her deadlines. Welcome to the new normal.
· May 11 project update: Bertha passes 385-foot mark [WSDOT]
· Tracking Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine [WSDOT]
· Holy Cow, The Alaskan Way Viaduct Re-Opens Ahead of Schedule [CS]