Example News Release RE: Bertha


DATE:              Oct. 14, 2015

CONTACT:       Kayla Kitamorn 206-555-5555

Bertha to Resume Tunnel Boring in November

Updated schedule for SR 99 Tunnel Project completion

SEATTLE– Bertha will resume tunneling on Nov. 23 as surface repairs are now complete.

Updated Schedule Milestones:

  • October – November 2015: Performance testing
  • 23, 2015: Resume tunnel boring
  • March 2018: Completion of tunnel
  • January 2019: Final completion of project

Crews are currently reconnecting the front end of the machine and welding the front shield pieces back in place. Measuring and testing will occur through October and November to ensure the exact placement and proper movement of all parts before tunneling resumes.

In March 2015, the machine was brought the surface to repair damage to the outer seals. Hitachi Zosen, designer of the boring machine, manufactured new a seal system for easier access in the event of future repairs. Additional repairs and improvements included replacement of the damaged center pipe, new drive motors and pinions, changes in the cutting tool’s configuration to improve performance efficiency, and the addition of steel reinforcement plates to the tunnel boring machine.

Seattle Tunnel Partners Project Manager Chris Dixon said, “What we have done here is unprecedented…We’ve had a lot of extremely talented and experienced people involved in this repair effort, so I’m looking forward to getting through this next phase, and resuming the tunneling and successfully finishing the tunnel.” Watch the exclusive video in which Dixon recaps the repairs and explains the necessary testing phase before tunneling can resume.

Seattle Tunnel Partners is a joint venture between Dragados USA and Tutor Perini Corp.


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image credit: WSDOT / flickr.com


  1. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/Contents/Item/Display/2468
  2. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/Media/Default/Schedule/STP_August_2015_Schedule.pdf
  3. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/About/followbertha
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=263&v=j4sHZzcDqlU