HIGHWAY 99 TUNNEL: Another distance milestone

(Tunnel as seen from machine – WSDOT photo taken earlier this month)

Since the last twice-weekly update, the Highway 99 tunneling machine has passed the 8,000-foot mark of its 9,270-foot route. To be specific, as of today, it’s dug 8,132 feet and has 1,138 feet to go – about two more blocks, according to today’s WSDOT update. It’s currently near 6th/Wall and set to emerge at 6th/Thomas.

P.S. If you missed it earlier today, WSDOT has announced the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s next weekend maintenance (etc.) closure will be March 4-5.

10 Replies to "HIGHWAY 99 TUNNEL: Another distance milestone"

  • Question Authority February 23, 2017 (5:05 pm)

    Inquiring minds want to know –  when Bertha breaks out will the roadway start being constructed Southbound as well?   Next – will Bertha be disassembled / what road can support the weight of those parts being hauled away, let alone the crane size requirements pressing down upon utility infrastructure?

    • Dale February 23, 2017 (10:25 pm)

      Seriously? No one is thinking any of that but you. There is a schedule posted online if you care to read it. Are you some kind of hip new engineer that’s gonna save Seattle cuz no one else knows what there doing? Please just post your Resume. We will all thank you later. 

      • Jason February 24, 2017 (11:45 am)

        I’m with you.  I thought this question was a joke.  Proof that some questions are bad questions as the grammar is too complex to come from a child.

      • Question Authority February 24, 2017 (12:44 pm)

        The engineering so far has been stellar, two plus years late and hundreds of millions over budget by the time it’s done.  If I was an engineer, I wouldn’t have designed an under built TBM and actually my resume probably has more technical expertise that yours.  I posed questions in this forum as all that written data is pure speculation,  just like the competition date is a guess as well.

  • JeffK February 24, 2017 (7:22 am)

    Something that has had me wondering for ages…  There is this huge volume of dirt from this project that has apparently been conveyor belted out and dumped on the waiting barges.

    I’m on the viaduct about once a week at various times, usually evenings.  My wife commutes to/from downtown on the C line every weekday.  In the years of this project she has seen the system running and dirt dumping exactly twice.  I’ve never seen it.

    Is the dirt stockpiled daily and removed at, say, between 1-5am?

    • West Sea Neighbor February 24, 2017 (9:14 am)

      I ride my bike to work every day past the conveyor system and see it running frequently.

  • Daniel February 24, 2017 (10:10 am)

    The barges carry 3 rings of dirt and are tugged to Port Ludlow’s Mats Mats facility daily.

  • Answer Authority February 24, 2017 (8:41 pm)

    I had the chance to tour the tunnel recently. The southbound lanes are already being built from the South and extend quite a ways into the tunnel. Upon completion Bertha is going to be cut up into smaller movable pieces, so moving her away, while a big job, won’t put added stress on the roads. While the rough start to the project obviously set it back, there is a very clear path to the finish and the people in charge know exactly what they are doing. 

  • K. Davis February 25, 2017 (10:08 am)

    @QA … I am always amazed at how the uninformed manage to come up with a new angle on how to criticize this project.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  The project is late and the TBM failure/rescue/repair is unfortunate.  But when you’re dealing with cutting edge infrastructure projects of enormous proportions, there will be challenges and problems.  They’ve solved them.  Since the repair, Bertha is digging effectively and quickly and will break through well before June.  So then I read this question, about whether anyone but QA has thought about taking the machine apart.  For godsake.  Really?  You think that isn’t planned?  


  • wetone February 25, 2017 (12:23 pm)

     K. Davis,  since your amazed at how the uninformed manage to come up with new angles on how to criticize this project, maybe you have the great knowledge of what the toll cost will be for this wonderful project that will have so many positive results ; ) for those that need to travel through this area twice daily  $100month ?  Questions are good, when one slams others for asking it shows direct arrogance of one, all to common these days in Seattle. Same type of attitude the Seattle government shows, they want everyone to just be sheep and follow……… Personally I see nothing positive about this tunnel, but maybe it’s because I need to travel that section of roadway a lot costing me $$$ and or adding travel time.  winner

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