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Bertha stops for a break under Seattle

The Seattle tunnel boring machine reached its goal of 385 feet on May 11. (WSDOT)

Bertha is on break.

After passing under the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Seattle’s tunneling machine and its crews are taking the weekend off, a WSDOT spokesperson confirms. The machine has now traveled 1,995 feet — out of its total 9,270 journey under downtown Seattle.

Bertha was slated to tunnel 385 feet under the viaduct in its most recent spate of activity. As of Wednesday, the tunnel machine finally reached that goal, but crews decided to press on until the machine reached a safer place to stop.

The Washington State Department of Transportation announced that Bertha cleared the fourth and final column of the viaduct on Wednesday. The roadway opened to drivers the previous Sunday.

Crews have worked around the clock since April 29.

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