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Bertha will resume digging in March 2015 says WSDOT

As $750 million in tunnel-related construction continues, contractor eyes November 2016 tunnel opening

information from WSDOT

The State Route 99 tunneling machine will resume digging by the end of March 2015, according to a schedule released today, April 21, by the project’s design-build contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners.

Construction will begin late next month on the pit STP will use to access and repair damage to the machine, which stopped tunneling in December. Building the pit is the first of several steps STP has laid out to resume tunneling:

· Late May: Begin building the access pit’s underground walls.

· Late July through September: Excavate the pit.

· October: Remove the machine’s cutterhead and begin repairing damage to the seal system and main bearing.

· February 2015: Test the machine to ensure it is ready to tunnel beneath downtown.

· Late March 2015: Resume tunneling.

These construction activities will be addressed in accordance with the SR 99 tunnel contract. While this timeline delays tunnel boring by up to 16 months, STP hopes to recover as much as four months of schedule to meet WSDOT’s original tunnel opening date of November 2016. STP had proposed opening the tunnel in late 2015.

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