Drills set up over stuck tunnel machine in Seattle

SEATTLE — Two drills have been set up over the spot where a tunnel boring machine has run into a blockage 60 feet below downtown Seattle streets.

KING reports the drilling cranes will probe the obstruction that brought the machine known as Bertha to a stop.

It was halted Friday but the state Transportation Department didn’t talk about it until Monday and hasn’t mentioned the topside drilling cranes setting up Tuesday at Old Alaska Way and Jackson Street.

The boring machine has traveled about 1,000 feet along its two-mile route since tunneling started last summer.

The 326-foot-long machine is creating a tunnel nearly 58 feet in diameter as part of the $3.1 billion project to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct to carry Highway 99 traffic.

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