Even though the Highway 99 tunnel machine hasnt budged for seven weeks, roadwork at the surface keeps moving at a steady pace.
A new overpass opens at 5 a.m. Monday, connecting Sodo streets with Terminal 46 at the Port of Seattle. This crossing will help trucks bypass a freight-railroad track averting the risk of a 20-minute delay.
If freight cant move, nobody moves, said Matt Preedy, deputy director for the states Highway 99 program.
The $29 million crossing was completed by Atkinson Construction, the same firm that built a temporary span for Interstate 5 in June, after part of the Skagit River bridge collapsed. To apply the final touches, the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct exit to South Atlantic Street will be closed all weekend.
Meanwhile, Seattle Tunnel Partners has started to build the tunnels double-decked south portal, where traffic eventually will enter the same pit where tunnel machine Bertha was launched July 30.
After mining 1,019 feet, the giant 57-foot-diameter drill has been halted since Dec. 6, when the rotary cutters stopped grabbing dirt. Officials say they dont know when drilling will resume.