Contents tagged with home

  • April 21 project update: Bertha reaches her final resting spot

    With one last push from her thrust jacks, Bertha came to rest today in her final position within the disassembly pit near Seattle Center. Seattle Tunnel Partners began slowly moving the tunneling machine forward on April 13. You can watch the machine’s progress into the pit by scrolling back through the disassembly pit time-lapse camera.
    A crew member holding balloons in front of the TBM sitting in the disassembly pit

    Nowhere to go but up (and out)

    With Bertha’s movement complete, crews will begin disassembling and cutting the machine into pieces for removal. Some pieces will be lifted from the disassembly pit by crane, while others will be taken out south through the tunnel. A new fact sheet in our Program Library gives a brief overview of what this work entails.
    As Bertha moved into the disassembly pit, crews also began removing infrastructure within the tunnel that supported tunneling. More than 20 miles of pipe has to be removed, as well as the yellow ventilation duct and the conveyor belt.

    Video: Bertha's final push 

    While the time-lapse camera linked above captures the view from above the disassembly pit, this video provides an on-the-ground perspective. Watch a condensed time-lapse of Bertha's two-week move into the disassembly pit (with a pause for a group photo of the workers who built the tunnel).  
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  • April 13 project update: Bertha's next move

    Seattle Tunnel Partners began moving Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, into the disassembly pit this morning. Crews began pushing the machine forward at approximately 9 a.m. this morning and have completed building ring 1,419.
    In the coming weeks, the machine will move forward approximately 80 feet before coming to rest in its final position. Along the way it will build the final rings of the tunnel, as well as a short section of temporary partial rings that the machine will use to push itself forward in the pit.
    Once the machine is in place, crews will begin cutting the machine into pieces and removing them from the pit. Some parts may be salvaged for use on other projects, while other parts will be recycled.
    Brace removal
    Crews spent the past several days cleaning the pit and removing the braces from the wall Bertha bored through on April 4. The time-lapse video below shows crews removing the braces.
    We’ll continue to provide progress updates on our breakthrough page and on Twitter.


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  • Recapping Bertha's breakthrough

    Bertha's 9,270-foot journey beneath Seattle ended in dramatic fashion on Tuesday as the machine broke through into her disassembly pit near Seattle Center:


    On Tuesday morning all that stood between Bertha and daylight was the five-foot-thick concrete wall at the south end of the disassembly pit. Crews from Seattle Tunnel Partners began mining around 8 a.m. on Tuesday and broke through shortly before noon.
    WSDOT shared updates from the scene on Twitter, Facebook and Periscope, and hosted a livestream. (Roughly a half million people tuned into WSDOT's web channels to watch breakthrough, and another one million watched the livestream via local news outlets.)


    What comes next?

    In the coming weeks, STP will remove the braces in the disassembly pit and move Bertha into her final position in the pit. You can watch that work on the Bertha's Breakthrough page. The machine will be taken apart and removed from the tunnel.

    There is much work left to be done before the tunnel opens to traffic, currently scheduled for early 2019. Our recent program spotlight explains the interior structures and tunnel systems work that cres have already begun. 

    We will be transitioning the Bertha's Breakthrough page in the coming weeks to a page that tracks this progress. As always, follow the program Twitter feed and this website for updates on the work to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
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  • #99closure feature: Drone footage inside the SR 99 tunnel

    Just a few days before the SR 99 tunneling machine started tunneling under the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the Washington State Department of Transportation flew a video-equipped drone through the SR 99 tunnel to show Seattle Tunnel Partners’ construction progress. There has been continued interest in seeing what has been built below ground and this video gives a glimpse of the tunnel as well as the nooks and crannies of the complex tunneling machine.

    On an average day, the tunnel is … more

  • The choreography of a concrete pour

    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

  • Take a virtual tour of SR 99 tunnel construction

    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

  • New narrated video explains Bertha repair work

    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.

    Other resources 

    Seattle Tunnel Partners repair work plan (pdf 4.8 Mb) … more

  • What we’re doing to keep traffic moving during the four-day SR 99 closure

    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

  • Traffic shift underway on State Route 99 near the stadiums

    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

  • Celebrate Bike Month on our new path

    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.

    Improved lighting.

    A separate northbound and southbound path for more efficient navigation.

    Signs warning of vehicles crossing the intersection of … more