It looks like Bertha’s cut cut bits are getting back underground.
Welp, another recovery goal has been met for the broke-down, downtown tunnel boring machine: Bertha’s repaired front end is now reuniting with the rest of its body. Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), the state’s contractor, started lowering Bertha’s 2,000-ton cutterhead and drive unit into the rescue pit this afternoon—a complex positioning job that will wrap up tomorrow.
Once Bertha’s new facial transplant makes its way into the pit, STP will begin reconnecting all of the machine’s parts and test the monster for two months. These tests consist of a “no load” (read: no soil and water) exam and another exam that will measure how the machine’s cutterhead spins into earth.
It won’t be until November that they finish all the tests, and start it up properly. Now the project is scheduled to finish in early 2018. We’ll see.
Honestly, I was as as opposed to the project as anyone, but we had a vote, and that matters. So as long as the state or the contractor — who whoever that isn’t Seattle really — is paying for it, I wish the project the best. Also, please finish before there’s a major earthquake.