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Big Bertha revs up for more digging following labor dispute resolution

Big Bertha, the Seattle tunnel boring machine, is expected to go another 900 feet in just the next month because the dirt and muck can now be removed by barge. (WSDOT Photo/Big Bertha Twitter)

Digging on the Seattle Tunnel Project is about to ratchet-up, now that a labor dispute with the local longshoreman's union has been resolved.

Big Bertha has made it about 660 feet since digging began in July.

It's expected to go another 900 feet in just the next month because the dirt and muck can now be removed by barge.

The Puget Sound Business Journal is reporting the labor dispute that had halted digging for about a month in August has ended.

Longshoremen blocked the job site saying they were promised four jobs on the project. A truce was called and the dirt was allowed to be removed by truck.

Now that this has been resolved, the project can remove the dirt by barge, greatly increasing the speed of the drilling.

The resolution involved giving several project jobs to the longshoreman's union.

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