7/20/2013--Seattle, WA, USA
"Big Bertha", the massive deep bore tunneling machine, will soon start escalating under Seattle building a 1.7 mile tunnel to replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct on Highway 99. The drill is the largest ever built and when finished with allow 4 lanes of traffic to bypass downtown Seattle.
Here, tunnel boring machine operator, Jerry Roberge, of Seattle Tunnel Partners, demonstrates how the machines works in the main operations room.
The $80 million dollar machine was built in Japan by Hitachi-Zosen and is 57 feet, 4 inches in diameter and 322 feet long.
WSDOT plans to complete the $2 billion tunnel by late 2015 with funding from gas taxes and later, tolls.
©2013 Stuart Isett. All rights reserved.