big bertha

Seattle Train Tunnel
6:46 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Seattle's Great Northern Tunnel Turns 110 Years Old

Great Northern Tunnel South Portal
Credit Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

If you've ridden a train to or from Seattle you have probably passed through the heart of the city via the Great Northern Tunnel.

This month, the tunnel turns 110 years old.

Back in the fall of 1904, when it was finished, the mile-long tunnel was the tallest and widest in the United States.

Local historian Michael Sullivan tells the story:

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Seattle Drilling
11:15 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Tunnel Machine Set To Dig Under Seattle -- But It's Not Bertha

A tunnel machine is set to resume digging beneath the streets of Seattle in June. This machine isn't named Bertha.

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SR 99 Tunnel
5:57 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

SR 99 Tunnel Making Machine Bertha Blocked by Pipe

Big Bertha is halted by a metal pipe.
Credit WADOT

Experts say a steel pipe is at least partly to blame for halting a massive tunnel-boring machine beneath downtown Seattle. The state Department of Transportation said today (Friday) that an 8-inch-diameter pipe was discovered protruding through an opening in the machine's cutter-head. Officials say the pipe is a well casing installed by the department in 2002 to monitor groundwater. Chris Dixon is the Seattle Tunnel Partners Project Manager.  “A cutter head won't line through and cut up steels.  Very good with clay and sands and boulders and gravels but …not good with metal.” He said.

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
4:04 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Inslee Says 'Big Bertha' To Resume Drilling Seattle Tunnel


Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:44 pm

"Big Bertha" should soon get back to work digging a nearly two mile tunnel to replace Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct.

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