What are they building down there?

You may not be able to hear the rumbling from the street, but Bertha is now tunneling through Zone 8.  As of December 15, she has traveled 6,646 of 9,270 feet and the tunnel is now 70% complete. Seattle Tunnel Partners have placed over 1,000 rings that form the 1.7-mile tunnel. When the tunnel is done, it will have 1,426 rings. 

Here’s Bertha decorated for the holidays. 

She has approximately 2,600 feet to go in her tunneling journey where she’ll reach daylight at a large pit just north of Thomas Street, near the operations building. STP will then focus on removing the massive machine in pieces from the pit as they continue building the double-deck highway inside the tunnel.

What does it look like while they are working under there? Check out this amazing video of the crew building the walls as Bertha tunnels.  

You can check her progress at the street level when WSDOT posts photos of her progress on twitter at #BalloonsOverBertha. The balloons are only out long enough to take a photo, so the best view is on twitter @BerthaDigsSR99

STP will stop mining between Christmas and New Year’s, but other work will continue during that period.  STP project manager Chris Dixon said the infrastructure part of the tunnel catches up when Bertha takes a break for maintenance. When Bertha restarts, the machine speeds ahead of the infrastructural work.

STP project manager Chris Dixon said the infrastructure part of the tunnel catches up when Bertha takes a break for maintenance. When Bertha restarts, the machine speeds ahead of the infrastructural work.

Recently in the DJC: 

Tunnel is now 70% complete with Bertha running well, soil ‘behaving’

WSDOT updates state about its budget for building the tunnel

More information from WSDOT: 

Dec. 16 project update: Get ready for the year of the north portal

Another way to track Bertha’s progress – #BalloonsOverBertha 

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