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Work continues at the bottom of the 120-foot-deep pit where Seattle Tunnel Partners is readying Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, for the rest of her tunnel drive beneath downtown Seattle. With repairs at the surface complete and all major components of the tunneling machine safely in the pit, STP and manufacturer Hitachi Zosen are focused on completing the reassembly portion of their repair effort.Crews are currently welding pieces of the machine back together, and reconnecting hundreds of wires and hoses that are integral to the tunneling operation. Although significant work is ongoing, much of it is can’t be seen from the surface. As part of our ongoing effort to keep the public informed about STP’s work, we asked STP Project Manager Chris Dixon to recap their repair effort to date and explain what’s next as they work to get Bertha moving again. Check out the resulting video, which includes exclusive shots of work occurring inside the machine and the access pit.— more —
October is here, which means the semiannual inspection closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct is just around the corner.Both directions of SR 99 will be closed between South Spokane Street and the north end of the Battery Street Tunnel from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, Nov. 1. Please plan ahead and be prepared for additional congestion as a result of this closure.Closing the viaduct will allow crews to perform maintenance and thoroughly inspect the structure, as they do each spring and fall. Read our viaduct safety fact sheet (pdf 2.9 Mb) to learn more about what we do to keep the viaduct safe and open to drivers until the tunnel project is complete.Survey crews walk the viaduct during a previous inspection.— more —
This week, at the south entrance to the bored tunnel, Seattle Tunnel Partners is pouring concrete for a section of the future southbound highway. On one hand, the pouring of concrete (also known as a "concrete placement”) is nothing extraordinary – it’s a common occurrence on a project that will use enough concrete to build nine football stadiums. But their frequency belies the complex choreography that goes into executing each pour successfully. Since concrete plays … more
Keeping the public informed about our work to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct is an important part of what we do every day. Our goal is to give you as much access as possible to this amazing project, which is why we regularly post updates, photos and videos of our progress. We even offer walking tours from our information center, Milepost 31, to a viewing platform that overlooks the pit where tunneling began in summer 2013.
Unfortunately, there’s one frequently received request … more
As reported elsewhere on our website, work to access and repair the SR 99 tunneling machine is coming along. We’ve heard from some people that Seattle Tunnel Partners’ repair plan is hard to picture. Enter STP’s Chris Dixon, who was nice enough to narrate a video that explains what crews are doing to resume tunneling by March 2015. Watch it on YouTube or download a WMV file.
Seattle Tunnel Partners repair work plan (pdf 4.8 Mb) … more
We’ve been asking you to do your part to reduce congestion when SR 99 closes for four days starting Friday night, Aug. 22. That includes things like changing your commute habits and choosing an alternate way to get around.
But what are we, the agencies tasked with keeping traffic moving during this closure, doing to help? Quite a bit, actually. Here’s a roundup of some of the steps we’re taking to help you and your fellow commuters through the closure.
Washington … more
Less than three years ago, crews demolished the southern mile of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. When they did, they shifted traffic onto a new section of State Route 99 south of downtown Seattle.
Much of that new section of SR 99 is permanent, but the piece west of the stadiums is temporary. This curving stretch of road takes drivers around the SR 99 tunnel construction site and connects to the remaining section of the viaduct near South King Street. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s … more
Just in time for Bike Month, we opened a new permanent connection between the on-street bike lanes south of South Atlantic Street and the shared-use path from South King Street. Here’s a map that shows the improvements, which include:
A dedicated, 14-foot-wide shared-use path with improved paving.
A separate northbound and southbound path for more efficient navigation.
Signs warning of vehicles crossing the intersection of … more
You may have noticed more construction along State Route 99, just north of the Battery Street Tunnel. That work is part of the SR 99 Tunnel Project, but it has its own name – the North Access Project. It’s also being built under a completely different contract than the one we have with Seattle Tunnel Partners, the contracting team responsible for most of the tunnel work. A map of major contracts within the program can be found here (pdf 1.1 Mb).
Our contractor for the North … more
A few blocks northeast of the Space Needle, crews are building the north portal of the SR 99 tunnel. It’s a huge piece of the overall tunnel project, but it’s largely invisible to the thousands of people that pass by it every day.
About the only place you can see the north portal taking shape is from the viewing deck of the Space Needle because most of the construction is underground, inside a pit that’s every bit as impressive as the launch pit where Bertha, the SR 99 … more