(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
With the Jumbo Fairpartner finally docking on Saturday – four days after its much-watched arrival in Elliott Bay – its cargo, the Highway 99 tunnel machine dubbed “Bertha,” is now coming ashore in its 41 pieces. Today, the most recognizable one – its “face,” aka cutterhead – was offloaded. WSDOT invited media onto the site for a quick look, and WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams was there.
The media opportunity ended before the machine’s 886-ton cutterhead was moved off the dock – but there were interesting views of the launch pit too, ahead:
Here’s the superstructure over the pit:
Looking further down from that angle – note the scale, compared to the size of the workers on the catwalk:
If you are wondering how exactly the machine works – here’s a video that WSDOT released a while back:
Back to today’s photos – one more look at where the machine is headed:
From a distance, you can continue watching via webcam.
The actual digging is expected to start sometime this summer, with the tunnel’s completion date currently pegged at late 2015. Lots more info is on the same page as the webcam.