Seattle Tunnel Machine Bertha Moves Toward Access Pit
Bertha is on the move.
The broken-down tunnel machine began its journey toward an access pit where, if it makes it, workers will remove the front of the machine for repairs. It started moving on Tuesday night and had moved 3 feet by 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Bertha must travel another 17 feet to reach the pit. It must tunnel through the pit's 20-foot concrete wall.
Seattle Tunnel Partners says it does not know how long the process will take. If the machine gets too hot, they will shut it down to cool before resuming.
Bertha only made it about 1,000 feet in its 2-mile trip to build a tunnel as part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project. It overheated and stopped working in December 2013.
The Washington state Department of Transportation released this video Wednesday of crews at work: