Huge tunnel drill makes its way to Seattle waterfronton April 2, 2013 @ 10:23 am (Updated: 5:13 pm - 4/2/13 )
See all photos
The five-story tall tunneling machine, named Bertha, has spent two weeks making its way from Osaka, Japan to Elliott Bay. Seattle Fire Department boats welcomed Bertha to the area with a water show.
A ship, the Jumbo Fairpartner, carried the $80 million machine across the Pacific Ocean. The Washington State Department of Transportation has listed out the perfect vantage points if you're interested in seeing Bertha's arrival or watching her unloading.
If you can't make it down to a view point or the waterfront, the WSDOT is setting up a live webcam pointed at the Port of Seattle's Terminal 46. You can also follow Bertha's journey on Twitter @BerthaDigsSR99.
Bertha posted an update on Twitter at 12:20pm - "Entering Elliott Bay now. The Space Needle looks like a thinner version of my Uncle Ned." And at 1:10pm - "It's been a long trip. I'm starving. I don't suppose those barges to the south of me could spare any dirt. You know, just a little snack."
WSDOT says it'll take several weeks to remove all 41 of Bertha's pieces from the ship. Crews will move them to predetermined storage locations in the work zone.
"Construction crews preparing for this machine's arrival have accomplished an unbelievable amount of work over the past 18 months," said state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson. "Thanks to their hard work, tunneling will begin on schedule."
As soon as an 80 foot deep pit is completed, Bertha's pieces will be lowered underground, reassembled, and tested before tunneling begins. This process is expected to take two or three months.
The new section of Highway 99 replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct will have a diameter of nearly 58 feet.
You might also like:
State orders removal of derelict Tacoma ship
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Your belongings that have been confiscated by TSA are being resold in Tumwater
Don't Flush It
The city says some Seattleites are doing a crappy job of keeping stuff out of the sewer
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.