SEATTLE — The Bertha tunneling machine has reached its stopping point in the SR 99 tunnel access pit, Seattle Tunnel Partners said Wednesday, clearing the way for the disassembly and repair process to begin.
With Bertha now in position, crews will begin to take apart the machine to start repairs. The machine, weighing 2,000 tons, will need to be broken into four parts and hoisted to the surface.
When disassembly is complete, officials said, a red crane will move the machine back into position to resume digging.
The SR 99 tunnel, which will run about 2 miles under the city, is designed to replace the Alaskan Way viaduct, damaged in a 2001 earthquake. The project is two years behind schedule as the tunneling machine has been slowed and fraught with problems.
The Bertha tunneling Twitter account tweeted Wednesday about the latest update.