Times: Work nearly complete on assembling Highway 99 tunnel drill

Times: Work nearly complete on assembling Highway 99 tunnel drill

Credit: WSDOT

Workers stand in the shadow of what will become the world’s largest-diameter tunnel boring machine. Currently being assembled in Japan, the machine will dig the SR 99 tunnel beneath downtown Seattle starting in summer 2013. Scheduled to open to traffic in late 2015, the tunnel will replace the central waterfront section of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

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by MIKE LINDBLOM / The Seattle Times

KING5.com

Posted on November 23, 2012 at 6:46 AM

Workers in Osaka, Japan, are almost done assembling the world-record, 57.5-foot diameter drill that will churn beneath downtown Seattle next year, to form the Highway 99 tunnel.

On Nov. 29, the giant cutter head will be hoisted and attached to the front of the cylindrical machine, longer than a football field. The team at Hitachi-Zosen will test the machine before the Washington State Department of Transportation formally accepts it at a ceremony in December.

Construction of the drill is on schedule, said Chris Dixon, project director for Seattle Tunnel Partners.

Read more at The Seattle Times

Copyright: The Seattle Times

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