clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bertha is 127 feet from the finish line

Close, but not quite


Bertha won’t see daylight this week, but the tunnel boring machine is nearing the finish line. As of Friday morning, the drill, which is building a tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct along State Route 99, is just 127 feet from the disassembly pit near Seattle Center.

That’s 61 feet of progress since their last update on Thursday, and 92 feet this week since Monday’s update.

Earlier reports indicated that Bertha could finish tunneling by the end of this week. A representative from WSDOT later clarified to Curbed Seattle that at the time of the report, there was a chance Bertha could reach the wall on the edge of the disassembly pit.

Once Bertha reaches that point, it still has one last push before its work is done: Drilling through the wall to the pit.

Once the machine’s work is finished, the cutterhead will be dismantled into, at the most, 20-ton chunks before being removed from the pit. The front of the machine weighs 2,000 tons in total.

WSDOT has been posting daily updates of Bertha’s progress this week, including a photo Friday of the waiting disassembly pit.

News crews will have live streams set up when Bertha gets closer to emerging.

The whole project was initially estimated to be completed by December 2015. Project delays have included a two-year halt for repairs from December 2013 through December 2015.

WSDOT estimates the project should be ready for traffic in 2019.