Home > Harbor News > Local Student Helps Name Largest Diameter Tunnel Boring Machine

Local Student Helps Name Largest Diameter Tunnel Boring Machine

March 8, 2013

A second-grade student at Lincoln Elementary School in Hoquiam helped name the world’s largest diameter tunnel boring machine.

The 80 million dollar machine was named Bertha in honor of Bertha Knight Landes, who was elected mayor of Seattle in 1926. The name was submitted by both a second-grade student at Lincoln Elementary School in Hoquiam and a fifth-grade class at Poulsbo Elementary School.

The machine is being loaded in 41 pieces onto a ship in Japan for a trip to Seattle.

Bertha was built at a factory in Osaka and is expected to arrive by the end of the month.

Bertha will be reassembled in a pit to tunnel a new Highway 99 route under downtown Seattle to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The tunnel will have a diameter of nearly 58 feet and is set to start boring this summer. The tunnel is scheduled to open in late 2015.

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