Seven weeks of nearly non-stop work are taking a toll on Bertha.
The SR 99 tunneling machine, which cut a nearly 2-mile path beneath Seattle over the past few years, is now being cut apart itself. And a new time-lapse video and photographs from the Washington State Department of Transportation reveal the progress that’s been made.
The images, shot from above the pit where the machine came to rest on April 4, show the inner-workings of the five-story tall machine, exposed now that the shield that surrounded it has been lifted away.
Only a small portion of the cutterhead spokes remain, according to WSDOT, and Seattle Tunnel Partners plans to remove work-deck platforms, hydraulic systems, hyperbaric equipment and ring-building equipment next.
The process of removing 8,000 tons of machinery from the pit and from the north end of the tunnel is expected to continue throughout the summer.
Construction of the double-decker highway inside the tunnel is ongoing, and traffic is expected on the roadway — being built to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct — in January 2019.
Check out the WSDOT’s Bertha page on Flickr for more images.