WSDOT: Bertha can be fixed and tunnel will be finshed

Staff writerJanuary 14, 2014 

In this WSDOT photo from May 2013, the State Route 99 tunneling machine’s cutterhead was held aloft by a large gantry crane before joining other pieces of the machine in the 400-foot launch pit. The machine, often called Bertha, began tunneling under Seattle in summer 2013.


State transportation officials say that the stalled tunnel boring machine digging the new State Route 99 in Seattle can be repaired, according to a KING 5 news report.

State officials told the Seattle City Council Monday that they don't believe there are any more metal pipes in the way of Bertha, the machine digging a tunnel underneath Seattle, KING 5 reported.

Additionally, state transportation officials told the Seattle City Council that the city won't be charged for cost overruns associated with the tunnel project.

There's no word yet on when Bertha will start moving again or how much her month-long delay will cost, KING 5 reported. The machine hit an underground steel pipe in early December and has been stopped for more than a month.


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