News Briefs: Bertha Tunneling Again in Seattle

In this week's news, Bertha is back to tunneling again under Seattle, and Aegion has announced that it will purchase Underground Solutions
News Briefs: Bertha Tunneling Again in Seattle

Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, is now tunneling in Seattle soil after breaking through the access pit wall late Jan. 6. Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), the lead contractor, has mined 73 feet and installed 12 concrete tunnel rings since Bertha first moved forward in the pit on Dec. 22 after being repaired.

The tunneling machine is expected to reach a planned underground maintenance stop in late January. Once there, crews will spend three weeks performing final maintenance before the machine tunnels beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

With excavation underway again, STP is resuming its operation for removing excavated material from the tunnel. This is done via a conveyor belt that extends from the tunnel to the edge of the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 46. Material that contains concrete from the access pit will be hauled away by truck. Clean material will be taken by barge across Puget Sound to a reclamation site near Port Ludlow. There, it will be used to fill an old quarry.

The Washington Department of Transportation posted a video of the tunnel machine back at work on Jan. 6 (see below).

Aegion Announces Purchase of Underground Solutions

Aegion Corp. announced on Jan. 4 that it is purchasing Underground Solutions Inc., known for its fusible PVC products that are used in water, wastewater and conduit applications.

Aegion will purchase Underground Solutions for $85 million in cash and expects to close the deal in the first quarter of 2016.

Several members of Underground Solutions’ senior management team will join Aegion to form an expanded team dedicated to trenchless rehabilitation of existing pressure pipelines.


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