News Briefs: Bertha's Front End Lowered into Access Pit

In this week's news update, Seattle Tunnel Partners lowered the front-end section of the tunneling machine Bertha into an access pit following repairs and the Louisiana Licensing Board for Contractors donated a gift of money to Louisiana Tech University's construction engineering technology program
News Briefs: Bertha's Front End Lowered into Access Pit

Bertha’s Front End Lowered into Access Pit

Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) lowered the front-end section of the tunneling machine named Bertha into the access pit Aug. 25 to continue work on the 2-mile-long tunnel beneath downtown Seattle.

This section is the largest of four pieces that will be lowered into the pit for reassembly and includes the machine’s cutterhead, motors and the new main bearing assembly. Weighing in at 2,000 tons, the front end of Bertha was lowered 120 feet by a crane built by Mammoet, and is equipped with nearly 7 miles of steel cable and a lifting capability of 2,400 tons.

Bertha is being used to replace the SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct, a more than 60-year-old double-deck highway that sunk several inches during a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in February 2001. Tunneling started July 30, 2013, but Bertha overheated and stalled Dec. 6, 2013, and since then has moved only far enough to reach a repair fault. Contractors needed months to dig the access vault and Bertha was finally moved into the vault in February of this year. 

Construction Engineering Program Receives Gift to Help Keep Growing

The Louisiana Licensing Board for Contractors donated more than $120,000 to Louisiana Tech University’s construction engineering technology program — one of only three accredited construction-based programs in the state — on Aug. 19.

David Hall, director of civil engineering, construction engineering technology and mechanical engineering at the university, says the donation will help fund infrastructure improvements for the university’s growing program.

Louisiana Tech’s construction engineering technology program prepares graduates for management and supervisory positions for converting plans and specifications prepared by engineers and architects into finished facilities.



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