The hotly-debated 'tunnel' to replace the Highway 99 Viaduct was raging for what seemed like years, and ultimately... the tunnel won. So what now?
Photos were released today via The Seattle Times showing the gigantic machine that will be responsible for digging the tunnel - nicknamed 'Big Bertha' after the former Seattle mayor Bertha Knight Landes who was in office from 1926-28.
The cylindrical machine, the world’s largest at 57.5 feet in diameter, will depart from a pit in Sodo this summer, burrow beneath downtown, then emerge late next year at South Lake Union. The $2 billion, four-lane tunnel, the largest piece of the $3.1 billion viaduct replacement, is to open for traffic in early 2016.
WashDOT has created a Bertha website and Twitter account to help the public monitor the voyage and arrival.