(UPDATED LATE AFTERNOON with more views)
(Newest photo: 1:05 pm cameraphone view from Jack Block Park)
10:45 AM: The Jumbo Fairpartner, a heavy-lift ship carrying the custom-built Highway 99 tunnel machine nicknamed “Bertha,” is approaching Seattle – so we’re going on Bertha watch. For its latest position, check this MarineTraffic.com link – it’s traveling down the west side of Whidbey Island as we type this. Here’s the official WSDOT page with Bertha background and links – the state promises a live webcam as Bertha’s ship approaches its berth at Terminal 46. If you use Twitter, follow @BerthaDigsSR99. More shortly.
11:13 AM: Approaching Edmonds now, though it’s currently closer to the Kitsap County side than the Snohomish County side.
11:35 AM: Passing Kingston, per MarineTraffic.com.
11:58 AM: Seeing it in the distance from mid-Alki. If you’re coming down to the beach (or points east) for a look, get going!
12:12 PM: Bertha is now turning toward Elliott Bay. You can’t miss the cranes. Another pic shortly.
12:31 PM: Just substituted new photo above – still clearly visible from Alki but closer to the other side of the bay. Jack Block, Seacrest, Don Armeni will have good views shortly.
1:05 PM: The Fairpartner is now approaching Jack Block Park, where WSDOT executives have gathered to talk with the media, so we’ve moved there. Newest photo is atop this story.
1:30 PM: Adding a few more. The ship has stopped, for now, a ways off the park. WSDOT deputy program administrator Matt Preedy (above), the West Seattleite who you see so often speaking about the projects in this area, is here and says it’s going to anchor for a while; currently, the ship is pivoting to some degree. This is about the closest view we’re getting:
1:42 PM: WSDOT reps confirm to us here at Jack Block that Bertha is not coming all the way in to dock today – preparation will be done on ship and on shore, and they’re working around other marine traffic. Meantime, we have more great photos in the inbox, beyond what we’ve been sharing – here’s what WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli sent from Columbia Center downtown:
We’ll add more photos in a bit – and will get on to other news, too.
ADDED 4:52 PM: Also from Christopher, the pit that “Bertha” is destined for:
From WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams, the Fairpartner and The Needle:
Jesse Doerr photographed the ship looking out over its eventual docking area:
Chi Duong‘s photo is from downtown:
And Adam Dunko‘s is from Hamilton Viewpoint in North Admiral:
Still more to check out – thanks!