Patrick Robinson
A youngster looks with amazement at a much smaller version of the world's largest boring machine at Milepost 31 on Sept. 6.

Kid Alert! WSDOT running naming contest for the SR99 Tunnel Boring Machine

Entry deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 13

It will be the largest tunnel boring machine ever seen by mankind at 57.5 feet in diameter, 326 feet long and weighing in at 6700 TONS, and it will be put to work right here in Seattle by mid-2013.

In advance of the project to replace the Alaska Way Viaduct with the SR99 Tunnel beneath downtown Seattle, Washington’s Department of Transportation is putting the naming responsibilities in the hands of Puget Sound youth, from kindergarten to 12th grade.

The winner’s name will undoubtedly become part of Seattle’s history.

There are a few guidelines to follow in choosing a name (see below), and entries are due by Tuesday, Nov. 13.

Naming Contest Guidelines (from WSDOT)

Contest deadline: Entries are due by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13. Your entry must include a TBM name and a 200-word-or-less description of why you chose it.

Three ways to enter:
• Online using the form found here.
• In person at Milepost 31, 211 First Ave. S, Seattle, WA, 98104.
• By mail – Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, Attn: Natalie Graves, 999 Third Ave., Suite 2424, Seattle, WA 98104. (Entries must be received by Tuesday, Nov. 13.)

Criteria and judging:
A panel of judges will select the winning name based on the following:
• Name must be female. (Traditionally, TBMs have female names, so we want to keep that tradition going. Otherwise, be creative.)
• Name should have significance to Washington state heritage, life, nature, transportation or engineering.
• Name should be creative and original.
• TBM cannot be named after a living person.

Contest rules:
• Open to Washington state students, grades K-12.
• Limit one entry per person. A classroom of students may submit a name collectively.
• Submission must be your original work.
• Contest not open to immediate family members of WSDOT employees or employees affiliated with the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program.
• Winner must provide their own transportation to dedication event in Seattle.

Winner acknowledgement:
The contest winner(s):
• Will be invited to TBM dedication event in Seattle next year.
• Will receive a guided job-site tour in Seattle and commemorative t-shirt.
• Will be recognized when we announce the TBM’s name to the media

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.