Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program Construction Update – March 2013

Sky cam view of the tunnel boring machine launch pitMilepost 31 Speaker Series – Preparing for the SR 99 tunneling machine’s arrival

 Bertha, the world’s largest-diameter tunnel boring machine, is being shipped from Japan to Seattle this spring. Before she arrives, join us for an engaging discussion about how crews will transport her 40-some pieces from a ship at the Port of Seattle to the 80-foot-deep pit to the west of the stadiums where she’ll begin tunneling this summer. You’ll also get a sneak peek at the support facilities we’re building near the launch pit, including a soil-removing conveyor belt that will stretch a whopping two miles by the end of construction.

 6 to 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 7

Milepost 31

211 First Ave. S., Seattle

Admission is free.

 After the talk, be sure to leave enough time to explore the rest of the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square. Milepost 31 is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and stays open until 8 p.m. on First Thursdays.  Free parking is available for First Thursday art walk patrons in Pioneer Square. Please visit for more information about participating garages.

And don’t forget you can track Bertha’s journey to Seattle on Twitter by following @BerthaDigsSR99.


Archaeology and the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program

Kevin Bartoy, Cultural Resources Lead for the Washington State Department of Transportation, recently led a discussion at the Museum of History and Industry’s History Café lecture series. Kevin described how state projects must consider cultural resources and some of the mitigation strategies developed as part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. Kevin went on to discuss the history of Pioneer Square and SODO, focusing on the changing coastline, historical development and the diversity of uses over time.

To dig into the history of the area and discover how Pioneer Square continues to be a hub of transportation and extreme engineering, visit the project information, Milepost 31, at 211 First Ave. S. A video of Kevin’s lecture is also available on the KCTS website.

For more information about the SR 99 Tunnel Project, visit