Tunnel boring machine ‘MudHoney’ reaches destination in Wallingford

Jun 28, 2023, 7:07 AM | Updated: 7:57 am

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The machine was working on an underground storage tunnel that is set to reduce polluted stormwater from entering Seattle area waterways (Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

A new storage tunnel is one step closer to completion after MudHoney, a tunnel boring machine, finished digging its way from Ballard to Wallingford Monday.

The 18-foot diameter machine tunneled 13,946 feet, working on an underground storage tunnel that is set to reduce polluted stormwater and wastewater from entering Seattle area waterways during heavy storms.

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The MudHoney boring machine was named by a community survey, with the winner naming it after the Seattle grunge band. The name was painted on the front of the machine by Devin Finley in April 2021.

The construction is a part of the Ship Canal Water Quality Project, which looks to reduce this waste pollution in the Lake Washington Ship Canal, Salmon Bay, and Lake Union. The total cost for the overall Ship Canal Water Quality Project is between $615 to $650 million dollars.

During a heavy storm, the new tunnel will capture and temporarily store more than 29 million gallons of untreated stormwater and sewage until the treatment plant is ready for it.

Construction on the tunnel started in 2020.

Next up on the project is a diversion structure near Stone Way N and N 34th Street, which started in April and will be under construction for the next couple of months, according to the project overview.

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Tunnel boring machine ‘MudHoney’ reaches destination in Wallingford