Boring Bertha: State Doubts New Dates For Tunnel Opening | KUOW News and Information

Boring Bertha: State Doubts New Dates For Tunnel Opening

Jul 19, 2015

Bertha, the giant tunnel boring machine stalled in downtown Seattle, remains in pieces at the foot of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Chris Dixon, project leader for Seattle Tunnel Partners, which oversees the project, is confident Bertha will restart Nov. 23. And he says the tunnel will be open to cars in 2018.

But another person isn't so confident in these dates.

“We are disappointed in the delay,” said Todd Trepanier of the Washington State Department of Transportation. “You are not hearing confidence from WSDOT with those milestone dates."

That's because the timeline keeps changing. The original plan was for the tunnel to be finished this December.

As for guarantees that there will be a functioning tunnel, Trepanier said that wasn’t up to the state.

But Dixon asked the public to bear with him. “We still do believe that (Seattle Tunnel Partners) is going to complete this project,” he said.

“We’re doing things here that haven’t been done before. We think it’s better to take more time and do it right than to try to do it in a shorter time and run the risk of getting something wrong.”

The plan now is for Bertha to be reassembled and moving into a testing phase by early this fall.