Bertha

What Stopped Bertha?
4:55 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Boring Bertha Digs Through Layers Of Seattle History

An inside view of Bertha, the multi-million dollar tunneling machine.
Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation

The most plausible theory about what stopped Bertha, the tunneling machine digging its way through downtown until last Saturday, is also the most boring.

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SR 99 Tunnel
2:47 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Sawmill Grinders And Old Piers: A Historian Talks About What Could Be in Bertha's Path

Previous development of Seattle's waterfront may have left behind impediments to Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine.
Flickr Photo/Tender Young Pony of Insomnia

Marcie Sillman talks with Jennifer Ott of HistoryLink.org about one possible cause of the SR 99 tunneling machine’s blockage: leftovers from Seattle's historical waterfront development.

For other, more humorous, theories check out our What's Blocking Bertha? compilation.

The Two-Way
9:31 am
Thu December 12, 2013

What's Blocking Bertha, Seattle's 5-Story Tunneling Machine?

In this photo made with a fish-eye wide-angle lens, Bertha, the massive boring machine that is drilling a two-mile tunnel under Seattle, is shown in July before work began. The tunnel will replace a double deck highway along the downtown Seattle waterfront.
Ted S. Warren AP

Godzilla is back in the news and there's word that a massive boring machine appears to have hit something it can't get through under Seattle.

Hmmm.

But before we get carried away about creatures beneath our cities or hidden chambers holding eggs that will hatch monsters, let's focus on what we know about what's happening in the Northwest.

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SR 99 Tunnel
2:50 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

What's In Bertha's Way?

Bertha, the drilling machine digging out the SR 99 tunnel, has run up against an unknown impediment.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom about what may have halted Bertha, the huge tunneling machine in charge of digging the new SR 99 tunnel.

Transportation
12:30 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

New Proposal: Highway 99 Tolls Could Be $1.00

Flickr Photo/WSDOT

A new tolling proposal would ask drivers to pay as little as $1.00 for taking the Highway 99 tunnel under downtown Seattle. During morning and evening commutes, rates would jump to $1.25. A state advisory committee is hoping the proposal will strike a balance between tolling revenues and potential traffic diversion.

Two years ago, when the tunnel plan was approved by voters, the proposed tolling rates were as high as $3.00 during peak hours. Under that plan, traffic planners were concerned that high tolling rates would divert too many cars onto downtown streets. Maud Daudon is co-chair of the Advisory Committee on Tolling and Traffic Management. She's also president and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. She talked with Ross Reynolds.

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Seattle Waterfront
9:46 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Inslee Says 'Big Bertha' To Resume Drilling Seattle Tunnel

WSDOT

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:44 pm

"Big Bertha" should soon get back to work digging a nearly two mile tunnel to replace Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct.

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
8:11 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Problems And Progress For Seattle's Waterfront Tunnel

Architect Brian Runberg climbing onto the roof of the building he owns, with a building motion detector above him and the Alaskan Way Viaduct directly behind him.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The world’s largest tunneling machine started grinding into the soil beneath downtown Seattle Tuesday afternoon. The machine known as Bertha is digging a 58-foot-wide tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

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Viaduct Replacement
12:09 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Bertha To Get Send-Off Before Burrowing Below Seattle

Credit Flickr Photo/WSDOT

Very soon, a massive piece of machinery will start to burrow two miles out from Seattle. It’s building the tunnel that will replace the Alaskan way viaduct.

Tomorrow, WSDOT is hosting a big sendoff for the biggest tunneling machine in the world, affectionately named Bertha. The public is invited to check it out Saturday between 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., provided closed-toed shoes are worn.

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Around the Nation
2:28 am
Mon May 6, 2013

'Bertha' Does The Heavy Lifting In Seattle Tunnel Project

The world's largest tunnel boring machine in a few months will begin digging a new double-decker highway tunnel under downtown Seattle. If all goes according to plan, Bertha will start digging this summer. It'll emerge again late next year on the other side of downtown, not far from the Space Needle.

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