One week from tomorrow, a public dedication is planned for the machine that will dig the Highway 99 tunnel, known as “Bertha.” Today, West Seattleite Vlad Oustimovitch, who has been on the advisory committee for the project and related transportation issues, got a preview in a launch-pit tour – and is sharing his photos. Three more up-close photos – and some updated info – ahead:
Seems everyone has seen Bertha’s cutter head – the iconic green piece of the machinery – but there’s plenty of infrastructure elsewhere along the massive machine:
So how soon will Bertha be launched, you ask? Coincidentally, right about the time Vlad e-mailed us about his photos, we got a quick chance to chat (at Summer Fest!) with West Seattliete Matt Preedy, the WSDOT deputy program administrator, who has a top role on the project. He says it could be as soon as a few days after the July 20th event.
Next Saturday’s public event, in which you can get a closeup look too, runs 11:30 am-3 pm. You’ll find tons of information about it on this WSDOT webpage, including map and directions.