sinkhole2.jpg
A 7-foot-deep sinkhole opened near the Seattle waterfront Thursday as a tunnel-boring machine pushed forward. (Image courtesy Washington State Department of Transportation)

Bertha's tunneling under Seattle opens sinkhole

The subterranean odyssey continues for Big Bertha. The tunnel boring machine opened up a 7-foot-deep sinkhole in the ground Thursday.

The 15-by-20-foot hole opened up between the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the Seattle waterfront, near South King Street.

The hole was quickly filled with no damage.

The Seattle Times reports rotten timbers dumped a century ago may have left the soil in the area unstable.

Bertha had recently resumed drilling after a two-week break for adjustments and to receive a new set of cutting teeth.

Bertha had one of her better days on Thursday, advancing over 33 feet. Bertha has drilled more than 460 feet since July 30. It's scheduled to move under downtown Seattle next year, creating a new Highway 99 route to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


KIRO Radio Staff, Staff report
Straight from the newsdesk.
Top Stories

  • Climate Change Winner
    A forecaster says the Pacific Northwest will be on the winning side of climate change

  • Is Gas Works Safe?
    Police have been called out to the park nearly every night this week
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
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.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.