Get ready, Seattle – Bertha’s here

BerthaThe journey started in Japan with a single ship. It ended 5,000 miles later in the waters of Elliott Bay, with the much-anticipated arrival of Bertha, the massive machine that will dig the SR 99 tunnel beneath downtown Seattle.

The five-story-tall machine arrived in Seattle on April 2 aboard the Jumbo Fairpartner, the 475-foot-long vessel that carried it across the Pacific Ocean from the manufacturing plant in Osaka, Japan. Built by Japanese firm Hitachi Zosen Corporation, Bertha was taken apart into 41 separate pieces, the largest weighing about 900 tons, before being loaded on the Jumbo Fairpartner last month.

WSDOT will have a live webcam pointed at Bertha’s arrival point once the ship is berthed, along with a map of locations where the public can view the machine’s arrival and unloading. Both can be found on a Web page devoted to tracking Bertha’s journey. The most frequent updates will come via Bertha’s Twitter account. A 10-foot-long interactive model of the machine is on display at Milepost 31, the project’s information center in Pioneer Square, and photos of the machine and construction  in Seattle are also available.

In the coming days, crews will offload Bertha’s pieces at Terminal 46 and transport them to storage areas throughout the work zone, which is just east of the terminal. Reassembly and testing of the machine will take two to three months. Tunneling is scheduled to start this summer.

 

For more information about the SR 99 Tunnel Project, visit www.alaskanwayviaduct.org.

Construction and Traffic Update – Friday March 15, 2013

SR 99 tunnel boring machine launch pit constructionFourth Ave S down to one lane on Saturday

Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will restrict southbound traffic on 4th Ave S to one lane just south of S Spokane St on Saturday, March 16, from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. During this time the crews will install curb ramps on the northwest corner of the intersection.

 

More Highlights

  •  March 15 – 18: SR-520 bridge closed 11PM Friday to 5AM Monday.
  •  March 15 – 18: Closures on Yesler Wy. between Broadway and 12th Ave. Friday through Monday.
  •  March 15 – 17: James St. closed east and west of Broadway 7PM Friday to 7PM Sunday.
  •  March 15 &16: Lane closures on southbound I-5 between NE Ravenna Blvd. and Lakeview Blvd. E. 10PM to 10AM each night.
  •  March 15 & 16: NE 45th St. on-ramp to southbound I-5 closed 10PM to 10AM each night.
  •  March 18: Delridge Wy. SW paving project moves to Phase II (SW Thistle St. to SW Trenton St.).
  •  Various road closures for Special Events, including St. Patrick’ Day Parade, St. Pat’s Dash, the International Day Against Police Brutality March, and Seattle Sounders.

List (including start/end times) of up-coming road closures/restrictions and events: Construction Look Ahead for March 14, 2013

 

Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement construction closures

Visit WSDOT’s website for a complete list of closures. Closure information changes frequently, so remember to check for updates throughout the week.

Highlights for Friday, March 15 – Friday, March 22

Regional closures

Friday, March 15 – Monday, March 18

  • Crews will close both directions of the SR 520 floating bridge and highway and all ramps between Montlake Boulevard and I-405 from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

Friday, March 15 to the morning of Sunday, March 17

  • Crews will close up to three lanes of southbound I-5 from Northeast Ravenna Boulevard to the Ship Canal Bridge from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. nightly for pavement repair. This work is weather dependent. Express lanes switch to southbound at 9:45 p.m.

SR 99 Corridor

North

Monday, March 25 – Tuesday, March 26

  • Crews will reduce southbound SR 99 to one lane between Republican and Harrison streets from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day.

Wednesday, March 27

  • Crews will reduce southbound SR 99 to one lane between Republican and Broad streets from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday

Central

Monday, March 18 – Friday, March 22

  • Crews will close the left lane and north sidewalk of Pike Street between First and Second avenues from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

Monday, March 18 – Friday, March 22

  • Crews will close the left lane and north sidewalk of Virginia Street between First and Second avenues from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Friday, March 22

  • Crews will close the right curb lane and sidewalk on Second Avenue between Virginia and Lenora streets from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Friday, March 22 – Monday, March 25

  • Crews will close the right lane and right parking lane of Union Street between Second and First avenues from 7 a.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

Monday, March 18 – Friday, March 22

  • Crews will reduce South Jackson Street to one lane in each direction between Second Avenue South and Fifth Avenue South from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

South

Sunday, March 17

  • Crews will close South Massachusetts Streets between Occidental Avenue South and First Avenue South from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local access will be maintained.

Friday, March 22 – the morning of Monday, March 25

  • Crews will close the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct ramp to northbound I-5 and Columbian Way from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

Quick links:

Website links

Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program

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 www.FirstThursdaySeattle.com 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 www.alaskanwayviaduct.org