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SR 99 update: TBM front end lowered into access pit

Contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) and Mammoet crane crews are days away from reconnecting the front end to the stalled SR 99 tunnelling machine.

The 2,000t front end has been lowered into the 120ft-deep access pit and will now be accurately positioned to allow the crews to begin reconnecting it to the tunnel boring machine (TBM).

The three pieces of TBM Bertha’s shield that remain at the surface are scheduled to be lowered into the access pit and reinstalled in the next few days.

When the machine has been reassembled, STP and manufacturer Hitachi Zosen will conduct a series of tests to ensure the machine is ready to resume mining.

The TBM has been stalled since December 2013, delaying work on the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project.

Tunnelling is expected to resume in late November.

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