MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle tunneling machine completely disassembled

Aug 23, 2017, 10:39 AM | Updated: 1:52 pm

On Wednesday morning, crews removed the final piece of Bertha the boring machine out of the pit it has sat in since reaching the end of the tunnel running under Seattle.

A live time lapse of the disassembly pit shows the last piece of Bertha being removed just before 8:30 a.m.

PHOTOS: Bertha completely disassembled

Bertha’s journey under Seattle ended April 4 when the machine breached a concrete wall at the tunnel’s north portal, east of Seattle Center. Watch the machine emerge here.

After completing the 1.7-mile trip, crews had to disassemble Bertha piece by piece. The machine weighed more than 6,000 tons.

Some of the machine, such as hoses, mechanical arms, and motors are reusable. Other pieces will be recycled.

RELATED: Insurers claim contractor misled on cause of breakdown

Though Bertha is officially no more, work on the tunnel isn’t over. Crews are expected to spend the rest of 2017 and 2018 finished construction of the two-level roadway in the tunnel. The tunnel will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Crews will also have to build roadways and ramps to connect State Route 99 to the tunnel at both ends.

The tunnel is expected to open in 2019 — three years later than expected.

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