Awaiting ‘Bertha’: Tuesday ‘midday’ arrival for tunneling machine

April 1, 2013 at 8:51 pm | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

8:51 PM: If you’ve been awaiting an update on what time tomorrow we’ll see the ship carrying “Bertha,” the custom-built machine that’ll dig the Highway 99 tunnel, WSDOT’s newest estimate via Twitter tonight is for a “midday” arrival – get the backstory here. It’s in 41 pieces on board the Jumbo Fairpartner, a heavy-lift ship you’ll recognize for its giant cranes (see a photo in our story on its departure). The live monitoring website still labels it “out of range”; we don’t know if that’ll change as it gets closer, since it’s already reported to be in Washington waters, but WSDOT promises updates via its Twitter account @BerthaDigsSR99, and we will have updates tomorrow morning in all our channels too.

EARLY TUESDAY: Got a tip around 1:30 am that Fairpartner now shows up on – just put its name in the “vessel” box.

TUESDAY 8:30 AM: We’re tracking Bertha right now in the daily traffic report, and will switch that over to a standalone report a bit later.


  1. Doing a quick check on it looks like she’ll be in about 11:40 this morning.

    Comment by JJM — 7:09 am April 2, 2013 #


    Comment by Jumbo — 8:32 am April 2, 2013 #

  3. Thanks, Jumbo! We linked to a PDF with specs but obviously you have a better link :)

    Comment by WSB — 8:33 am April 2, 2013 #

  4. where is it ultimately headed, exactly ? like a pier near the launch pit? assuming not harbor island- that doesn’t seem right. wondering where to watch for it from West Seattle.

    Comment by sam-c — 10:19 am April 2, 2013 #

  5. Sam – it’s going to the downtown waterfront near the Launch Pit indeed. I think Duwamish Head is a good spot but you’ll see it from Alki too and certainly from Jack Block. Here’s the official info page.
    We will be launching a final tracking page in just a couple minutes.

    Comment by WSB — 10:21 am April 2, 2013 #

  6. The vessel has arrived. It’s in Elliott Bay right now. I am downtown in the Russell Building and can see it very clearly. Thanks, WSB, for providing photos — helped me make a positive ID!

    Comment by AKM — 12:43 pm April 2, 2013 #

  7. A fire boat is doing a big welcome!

    Comment by AKM — 12:43 pm April 2, 2013 #

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