Inslee: Union to stop picketing, 'Bertha' back to tunneling soon

Inslee: Union to stop picketing, 'Bertha' back to tunneling soon

Credit: KING

The tunnel boring machine known as "Bertha" that will dig the State Route 99 tunnel under Seattle.

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 17, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 17 at 10:36 AM

The tunnel boring machine that has been sitting for weeks due to a labor dispute should be up and running in the next few days.

Governor Jay Inslee tweeted that union members agreed to take down their pickets so Bertha can get back to work.

"It's good news Bertha will be back in business. The contractor has told me Bertha will be digging again in a few days," Gov. Inslee said.

The boring machine, which has its own Twitter account, began digging at the end of July. Bertha only made it 24 feet before the labor dispute stopped work.

While stopped for the strike, Bertha tweeted that lots of work was going on underground even though digging had stopped.

It was expected Bertha would advance six feet a day and eventually dig faster at 35 feet a day.

Construction for the State Route 99 tunnel began over two years ago.

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