Ah, Bertha. So many of Seattle’s frustrations and hopes are wrapped up in your drama.
Yesterday, Bertha’s cutter head was extracted from the ground for repairs, a process that started Monday morning and was completed today, according to the Washington Department of Transportation. Bertha’s Twitter feed provides a nice account of the extraction, with more photos like this one below:
Long day for folks onsite. I'm going to hang out here until a fresh crew arrives in the a.m. to finish the job pic.twitter.com/aHwnwIRMw5
— Bertha (@BerthaDigsSR99) March 31, 2015
According to Seattle Tunnel Partners and King 5, here’s what we can expect as to Bertha’s progress from here on out: The cutter head is scheduled to be fixed and reassembled by May, reinstalled in June and tested in July. If all goes to plan, Bertha will begin digging again in August.
The Puget Sound Business Journal did an extensive report on Bertha’s setbacks, costs and how it might potentially move forward in February, calling it “not just a repair. It’s a redesign.” “The effort will attempt to correct shortcomings in Bertha’s original makeup — flaws that have thrown the $3.1 billion Viaduct Replacement Project into crisis and added at least $190 million in costs,” PSBJ reported.
King 5 posted a pretty great video of the extraction process, too. You can watch it below.