Bertha, Seattle’s tunnel boring machine, is back to work after maintenance

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SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s tunnel machine Bertha is back in action after a short day for crew rest and maintenance.

The Seattle Times reports that the boring machine has passed the 2,000-foot mark on its 9,270-foot trek from the stadium area to South Lake Union. Seattle Tunnel Partners officials say they hope Bertha finishes by December.

Tunnel officials stopped the machine Friday and restarted it on Tuesday.

A tunnel along Seattle waterfront was the choice to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct after it was damaged in a 2001 earthquake. But Bertha broke down about two years ago and had only recently resumed operations.

The original completion date for the tunnel was the fall of 2015. The latest estimate for the opening of the double-decker highway project had been April 2018.