ROADS/BRIDGES: Bertha repairs take longer than planned

Drilling for tunnel-boring machine Bertha won't begin until Dec. 23, a month later than the last projection

Equipment News October 23, 2015
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The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) posted contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners' (STP) latest schedule for the tunnel boring machine known as Bertha, that says tunneling would resume again on Dec. 23. This date is a month later than originally promised.


Signs of a month-long delay emerged when open-air testing of rotary parts due in Mid-October was had not started yet.


The latest delay would push back the opening date for the $3.1 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct project to April 2018. The four-lane toll tunnel was supposed to completed and open to traffic in December 2015.


Washington State has paid STP just over $1 billion and even though work is stopped, crews have only $300 million worth of work to complete, according to Todd Trepanier, WSDOT’s Highway 99 administrator.


So far, the north and south portals are mostly completed, as are all the arc-shaped concrete segments that will form the tunnel walls, and the tunnel’s Sodo-area road decks.

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