A look inside the Bertha drilling project in Seattle WA through the eyes of a drone

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Here’s a look inside the Bertha drilling project in Seattle WA through the eyes of a drone.

Bertha’s journey

According to the WSDOT Bertha was shipped from her manufacturing facility in Japan to Seattle in spring 2013. She was then reassembled in an 80-foot-deep pit to the west of Seattle’s stadiums. After a series of tests, Bertha was launched into the soils beneath Seattle on July 30, 2013.

In December 2013, STP stopped tunneling approximately 1,000 feet into the tunnel drive after measuring increased temperatures in the tunneling machine. While investigating the cause of the high temperatures, STP discovered damage to the machine’s seal system and contamination within the main bearing. STP and manufacturer Hitachi Zosen completed repairs to the machine in December 2015.

Halfway there

Half of the viaduct is already gone, demolished and replaced by crews at the south end of downtown, near Seattle’s stadiums. Completed on budget and one year ahead of schedule, this new section of SR 99 connects to the remaining viaduct along the waterfront to keep SR 99 traffic moving until the tunnel opens to traffic.