No. 6 in 2013: Big Bertha digs in before being stopped in her tracks

|  December 30, 2013 |

The nearly-assembled Bertha with cutterhead installed. Credit: WSDOT Flickr

The nearly-assembled Bertha with cutterhead installed. Credit: WSDOT Flickr

There’s been a lot of excitement this year about the world’s largest tunnel boring machine. Named “Big Bertha,” she arrived in Seattle in April where she is digging a 1.7-mile tunnel for the new State Route 99. The $80 million machine stands five stories tall and moves along at 3 inches per minute. Despite her size, the machine was halted recently by a mystery object with only 1,000 feet of tunnel dug. Officials say it could take up to two weeks to figure out what the obstruction is.

 

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