The mood around the office
He was smiling, but you could tell he was tired. Like many of our tunneling experts, he’d been working long hours lately. Still, tired or not, he was genuinely amused when he dropped into our office to share some news.
“Did you see the Seattle Times?” he said. “People are voting on what they think stopped Bertha. (Seattle Seahawks cornerback) Richard Sherman is winning.”
“I’m glad people are having some fun with this,” he said. “Because we’re not.”
That pretty much sums things up around here. Yes, we’ve noticed the public is having a blast speculating about the obstruction that caused our contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), to stop tunneling on Dec. 7. And we're glad you're having fun. Bertha might even join you on occasion.
But you should know that folks around the project office are laser-focused. That’s true all the time, but it’s especially true now, as we push to get Bertha going again. We like to have fun, of course, but we also take our work very seriously. It’s a privilege to work on a project like this, and we recognize the importance of the task before us.
We’re confident STP has the right people and the right approach in place to safely determine what’s causing the obstruction. Once they know what it is, they’ll be able to select the best path forward. Implementing the strategy is taking some time, but we want to do this right way because, like you, we want to get this tunnel built on time and on budget.
Tunneling is challenging work. We have made significant progress – more than 1,000 feet of tunnel has been built, and construction of the tunnel’s north and south portals is well underway. Next month we will open the South Atlantic Street overpass, which will allow traffic to bypass a busy railroad track that crosses Atlantic Street.
That’s a lot, but we know the hardest work lies ahead. Still, to prove we’re not above having a little fun even as we face a challenge, all of us at the tunnel project have a message for whatever might be blocking Bertha’s path: We ain’t mad, bro.
We’re just trying to do our job.