A Bertha timeline: From conception to today

Apr 21, 2014, 2:48 PM | Updated: 2:58 pm
Officials now say drilling will not resume on the Seattle Tunnel Project until March of 2015. (WSDO...
Officials now say drilling will not resume on the Seattle Tunnel Project until March of 2015. (WSDOT file)
(WSDOT file)

A timeline of key dates in Seattle Tunnel Project:

January 2008 – Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire announces state will take down Alaskan Way Viaduct in 2012.

January 2009 – State of Washington, King County, city of Seattle and Port of Seattle announce agreement to replace Alaskan Way Viaduct with bored underground tunnel

May, 2009 – Governor Christine Gregoire signs measure authorizing $2.8 billion in state funds for tunnel project.

April, 2013 – The world’s largest tunneling machine, now christened “Bertha”, arrives in Seattle.

July 30, 2013 – Bertha begins drilling. Initial plans call for drilling to take 14 months.

July-December, 2013 – Bertha travels 9.270 feet of planned 9,270 feet.

December 3, 2013 – Bertha strikes 8-inch-diameter steel pipe after tunneling 59 feet.

December 6, 2013 – Bertha components shut down during attempts to drill at high power. Drilling halted.

December 7, 2013 – Seattle Tunnel Partners operators try to get Bertha moving again. Drill running at elevated temperatures. Drilling remains stopped.

January 3, 2014 – WSDOT reveals steel pipe to blame for tunnel stoppage.

January 25, 2014 – Seattle Times reports steel pipe struck by Bertha was put there by WSDOT engineers to study groundwater and included in plans provided contractor prior to tunnel bid submission.

January 28-29, 2014 – Bertha drills two feet each day as STP restarts drill and tries to determine cause of overheating problems. Drilling halted again.

February 7, 2014 – WSDOT announces Bertha seals and bearing damaged, likely causing overheating problems, no schedule for repairs or resumption of drilling.

February 28, 2014 – Seattle Tunnel Partner project director Chris Dixon says contractor hopes to complete repairs and resume drilling by September 1.

March 2014 – STP continues working with Bertha manufacturer to determine best way to repair drill and resume operations. Plans call for 120-foot-deep pit ahead of drilling machine to facilitate repairs. WSDOT digs 60 narrow test holes to check for historic artifacts ahead of repairs.

April 9, 2014 – Seattle tunnel critic files lawsuit to stop repairs on Bertha.

April 21, 2014 – WSDOT, STP announce tunneling will not resume until March 2015.

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A Bertha timeline: From conception to today