Bertha tunneling near PSRC

The highway 99 tunnel project is picking up steam.

As of May 23, Bertha had tunneled 2,145 feet of the 9,270 feet required to finish the tunnel.

As of May 23, Bertha had tunneled 2,145 feet of the 9,270 feet required to finish the tunnel.

Bertha is expected to come within about 150 feet of the southeast corner of PSRC’s building at 1011 Western Avenue.

The latest report from Monday puts Bertha in Zone 3 of the tunnel route between Columbia and Madison streets.  PSRC’s building is near the start of Zone 4 between Madison and Seneca.

Crews above ground have been spotted at Madison so she may be getting near or already passed by without anyone noticing.

The state’s department of transportation publishes Bertha updates on their Follow Bertha page on Mondays and Thursdays, and on Twitter @BerthaDigsSR99.

Bertha’s route will go past the current SR 99 off-ramp to Seneca Street and then on through downtown beneath First Avenue.

WSDOT is monitoring  the ground, utilities and buildings above and near the tunnel route for any effects from tunnel construction.

The new tunnel could open in 2018 if work stays on track.

The Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement is one of the major projects included the region’s transportation plan, Transportation 2040.

The tunnel is planned to replace the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct. The project includes removal of the existing viaduct structure and decommissioning of Battery Street Tunnel.

You can find out more about the project here.

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