Contents tagged with home

  • March 31 project update: Bertha lift complete

    2:35 p.m. update: On Tuesday afternoon, Seattle Tunnel Partners safely placed the front end of the SR 99 tunneling machine on the repair platform located just south of the access pit. The set-down marked the end of a successful lift process that began early Monday. This time-lapse video shows the lift from a spot just north of the tunnel access pit.
     
    Crews will continue disassembling the machine’s 2,000-ton front end in the coming days, using the massive red crane that completed yesterday’s lift to arrange pieces on the repair site. Repair work will take place south of the pit beneath a large canopy that will soon be moved into place to protect the workers and machine pieces from the elements. 
     
    This was the fourth and final lift to bring pieces of the tunneling machine to the surface, a process explained in detail in our narrated video (links to YouTube). At 2,000 tons, this was also the largest lift crews undertook. In addition to the cutterhead, the newly removed drive unit section includes motors and parts that enable the cutterhead to rotate. It also houses the main bearing and seal system that will be replaced during repairs.
     
    You can continue to track STP’s work on our time-lapse camera and follow @BerthaDigsSR99 on Twitter for updates. 
     
     

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    On Monday, Seattle Tunnel Partners lifted the SR 99 tunneling machine’s front end from the access pit. The lifting process began early Monday morning with a series of tests to ensure the massive red crane performing the lift could handle the weight of the 2,000-ton section. The piece began rising from the pit around noon and was visible at the surface a few hours later. By 9 p.m., crews had positioned the piece above the platform where it will be set down for repairs.

    STP chose to wait until Tuesday morning to complete the lift with a fresh crew. You can track the conclusion of the lift on our time-lapse camera and follow @BerthaDigsSR99 on Twitter for updates.

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  • March 30 project update: Lift of Bertha's 2,000-ton front end underway

    9:25 p.m. update: After a successful day of lifting, Seattle Tunnel Partners has chosen to wait until morning to place the SR 99 tunneling machine's front end on the repair platform. The piece will remain suspended above the platform until a fresh crew arrives in the morning to complete the lift.
     
    You can track the conclusion of the lift on our time-lapse camera and follow @BerthaDigsSR99 on Twitter for updates.
     
    Crews will wait until Tuesday morning to place Bertha on the repair platform.
     

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    6:30 p.m. update: Seattle Tunnel Partners is making good progress as they continue to lift the SR 99 tunneling machine’s front end to the surface for repairs. Crews began the lifting process early Monday morning with a series of tests to ensure the massive red crane performing the lift could handle the weight of the 2,000-ton section. The lift began around noon and the piece was visible at the surface a few hours later. 
     
    To expedite the lifting process, crews chose to rotate the section into a horizontal position as they hoisted it from the pit. When the rotation is complete, the crane will roll southward on its rails toward the specially made platform where the piece will be set down. The lift won’t likely be completed for several more hours, but there is no set schedule. Crews will take as long as necessary to safely lower the piece to the platform.
     
    You can track the action on our time-lapse camera and follow @BerthaDigsSR99 on Twitter for updates.
     
         
    Bertha at the start of the lift.                        Bertha emerges from the pit.
     
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    12:30 p.m. update: Seattle Tunnel Partners has begun lifting the SR 99 tunneling machine’s front end to the surface for repairs. A massive red crane began the lift – which includes the machine’s five-story-tall cutterhead – around noon Monday. Because the piece is so large, the lift could take 16 hours or longer, but there is no set schedule. Crews will take as long as necessary to safely complete the lift.
     
    You can track the action on our time-lapse camera and follow @BerthaDigsSR99 on Twitter for updates.
     
    ***
     
    Seattle Tunnel Partners is getting ready to begin lifting the SR 99 tunneling machine’s 2,000-ton front end to the surface for repairs. The first step in the lifting process is to incrementally add weight to the crane to ensure it can safely complete the lift. Because the piece is so large, the entire lift process could take 16 hours or longer, but there is no set schedule. Crews will take as long as necessary to prepare for and execute the lift.
     
    In addition to the machine’s five-story-tall cutterhead, the section being lifted includes the motors and parts that enable the cutterhead to rotate. It also houses the main bearing and seal system that will be replaced during the repairs.
     
    The crane doing the lifting was built by Mammoet, a firm that has performed other large lifts around the world, including the successful recovery of a Russian nuclear submarine from the bottom of the Barents Sea. Equipped with nearly seven miles of steel cable, the crane bringing Bertha to the surface is capable of lifting more than 2,400 tons. Check out our time-lapse video (links to YouTube) showing the crane’s assembly.  
     
    This will be the fourth and final lift to bring pieces of the tunneling machine to the surface, a process our narrated video (links to YouTube) explains in detail. To date, crews have removed three pieces of Bertha’s exterior from the pit, the largest weighing 270 tons. The first lift, which occurred on March 19, can be seen from the perspective of the crane operator in this time-lapse video (links to YouTube).
     
    You can track the action on our time-lapse camera and follow @BerthaDigsSR99 on Twitter for updates. We’ll also continue to post photos and videos as STP’s work progresses. 
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  • March 27 project update: Final lift approaches

    Seattle Tunnel Partners is nearly ready to lift the SR 99 tunneling machine’s front end to the surface for repairs. On Thursday, the massive red crane that will make the lift was rolled into place above the tunnel access pit. Crews are now connecting rigging and will spend the weekend making final preparations to lift the 2,000-ton piece to the surface. In addition to the machine’s five-story-tall cutterhead, the section being lifted includes the motors and parts that enable the cutterhead to rotate. It also houses the main bearing and seal system that will be replaced during the repairs.
     
    Because the piece is so large, the lift could take 16 hours or longer, but there is no set schedule. Crews will take as long as necessary to prepare for and safely complete the lift. The crane doing the lifting was built by Mammoet, a firm that has performed similar lifts around the world, including the successful recovery of a Russian nuclear submarine from the bottom of the Barents Sea. Equipped with nearly seven miles of steel cable, the crane bringing Bertha to the surface is capable of lifting more than 2,400 tons. Check out our time-lapse video (links to YouTube) showing the crane’s assembly.  
     
    This will be the fourth and final lift in STP’s repair effort, which our narrated video (links to YouTube) explains in detail. To date, crews have removed three pieces of Bertha’s exterior from the pit, the largest weighing 270 tons. The first lift, which occurred on March 19, can be seen from the perspective of the crane operator in this time-lapse video (links to YouTube).
     
    You can track the action on our time-lapse camera and follow @BerthaDigsSR99 on Twitter for updates. We’ll also continue to post photos and videos as STP’s work progresses.
     
     
    The crane that will lift the tunneling machine's front end to the surface rolled into position on Thursday.
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  • March 23 project update: Third piece of tunneling machine lifted to the surface

    Seattle Tunnel Partners has successfully lifted the third piece of the SR 99 tunneling machine to the surface for repairs. Crews lifted the machine’s 90-ton right side body from the pit Monday afternoon. Like the previous two pieces removed from the pit, the right side body is part of the machine's exterior shield.

    The first lift, which occurred last week, can be seen from the perspective of the crane operator in this time-lapse video (links to YouTube).

    With the machine's upper shield removed, STP will turn their attention to the final lift: Bertha's massive cutterhead and main drive unit. Crews will use the giant red crane, called a modular lift tower, to make the 2,000-ton lift. This narrated video (links to YouTube) explains the repair plan in detail.  

     

    Crews lifted Bertha’s 90-ton right side body from the pit on Monday.

    Three pieces of Bertha's shield have been brought to the surface for repairs. 

    You can track the action on our time-lapse camera and follow @BerthaDigsSR99 on Twitter for updates. We’ll also continue to post photos and videos as STP’s work progresses. 

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  • 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

  • The SR 99 tunnel contract you’ve never heard of

    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