'Bertha' to begin digging Seattle tunnel today

'Bertha' to begin digging Seattle tunnel today

Credit: KING

The tunnel boring machine known as "Bertha" that will dig the State Route 99 tunnel under Seattle.

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 9:49 AM

The giant boring machine known as “Bertha” will begin digging the new State Route 99 tunnel under Seattle sometime Tuesday afternoon, the Washington State Department of Transportation said.

The tunnel will stretch from Pioneer Square to South Lake Union and carve an underground path that is scheduled to take 16 months to complete.  The tunnel is scheduled to open to traffic in late 2015.

Total cost for the project is $3.1 billion.

WSDOT is placing more than 3,000 instruments on structures, creating a labyrinth of lasers and mirrors that can measure whether buildings are moved by the tunnel construction below.
 

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