Bertha the drill is ready to start work again. But first it’ll take a little rest over the holidays.
The tunnel boring machine got stuck as it was drilling a tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct two years ago. Since then, it’s been taken apart and fixed. It’s been tested, and project managers say it’s working fine.
But officials will wait until the new year to restart it for good.
Seattle Tunnel Partners' Chris Dixon : “Around holidays, people start thinking about other things. They might get distracted at work and put themselves in an unsafe situation. We didn’t want any of that occurring so we elected to shut down the job over the Christmas break.”
After that, Bertha will push north towards its destination in the South Lake Union neighborhood.
There’s one more pit stop along the way, just before the drill passes under the viaduct. That stop will mark the end of the drill’s evaluation period.
The drill hadn’t even made it through its initial evaluation before it got stuck.