LOCAL NEWS

Bertha reaches halfway point in tunnel project

Oct 3, 2016, 7:44 AM | Updated: 8:50 am

Progress on the Seattle tunnel project has reached another milestone.

The Washington State Department of Transportation reports that Bertha the boring machine reached the halfway mark on Friday after tunneling past Pike Place Market.

Seattle Tunnel Partners, the contractor, has now excavated more than 4,600 feet of the 9,270-foot tunnel.

Related: Has the perception of Bertha and the Seattle Tunnel project changed?

Much of the progress Bertha has made occurred during the past five months. The contractor has excavated more than 3,000 feet since leaving the planned maintenance stop on April 29 and going underneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Bertha is now under First Avenue, between Pike and Pine streets. Mining will continue for a short time before another planned stop is made for approximately one month.

“Bertha has been steadily on the move and made her way to the second half of the tunnel,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “This is good progress and I appreciate everyone’s focus on making sure we safely complete this project.”

The finish line is a 90-foot deep pit near Thomas Street.

The most recent schedule from the contractor shows that tunneling will end in the summer of 2017. Based on the contractor’s schedule, the state estimates the tunnel could be open to traffic by early 2019.

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Bertha reaches halfway point in tunnel project