Seattle’s tunnel boring machine “Bertha” started digging on July 30. Since then, it’s traveled just 24 feet in 22 work days with more than 9,200 feet to go.
The Seattle Times reports that contractors are mostly blaming fiberglass strands that became stuck near the cutting face of the drill. The problem has been fixed, but there’s now a labor dispute with the longshoreman’s union that has interrupted work.
The digging is about two weeks behind schedule. It was estimated that Bertha would drill six feet per day to start, then eventually up to 35 feet per day.
The Times reports officials aren’t worried about missing the schedule at this early stage.
The dig from SoDo to South Lake Union is expected to be finished by next fall, with traffic flowing through the tunnel a year later.