Seattle Tunnel Partners continues to prepare for excavation of the circular pit
(pdf 2.5 Mb) crews will use to access and repair Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine. Crews are installing wells to lower groundwater in enclosed areas near the machine. This will make it easier to excavate the access pit and move the tunneling machine into the pit later this fall.
Here are some shots of the site (taken by our time-lapse cameras), which is located to the west of the Alaskan Way Viaduct between South Jackson and South Main streets. The blue machine in the image on the right is installing one of the wells.
Other significant work is also ongoing, including:
Two new red cranes are now assembled near the site of the access pit. These cranes will be used to assemble the 2,000-ton modular lift tower that will lift pieces of Bertha from the pit. Read more about the cranes in this post
Preparing machine parts
In the coming weeks, new and replacement parts for the tunneling machine will continue to arrive from the manufacturing facility in Japan. Many of these pieces are being stored at a warehouse in Seattle until it’s time to install them in the machine. Below is a shot of the outer seal ring being manufactured in in Japan earlier this year.
Highway construction in the tunnel
Crews have begun building the structures that will support the roadway inside the tunnel. STP plans to build approximately 450 feet of the structures before tunneling resumes.
Sept. 8, 2014 update – With pile work done, Bertha inches forward
Aug. 28, 2014 update – Construction of the access pit's underground walls wraps up, preparation for dewatering begins
July 28, 2014 update – Construction of the access pit's underground walls will continue through August
June 16, 2014 update – Contractor announces details of repair work plan for the SR 99 tunneling machine
May 13, 2014 update – Construction of access pit’s underground walls now underway
May 8, 2014 update - With environmental review complete, access pit construction begins in earnest
Click here to see a full archive of progress updates