The Washington State Department of Transportation has released a new 360-degree video, taking viewers inside the tunnel that's expected to open to traffic in 2019.
In Seattle, it’s never too early to start planning a commute.
Thanks to a new 360-degree video by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), drivers planning to use the future Highway 99 tunnel can get an idea of what it looks like now as workers build the roads decks while the tunnel-boring machine Bertha nears the end of its work.
“We’re taking you on a tour to show you the construction of this massive project,” says narrator Joe Hedges, program administrator for the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
The video, posted on Thursday, takes viewers behind Bertha’s cutter head and inside its “pilot house,” or its operating headquarters, as well as along the under-construction tunnel to see crews’ progress building the stacked highway.
Though it is embedded above, the video is best viewed on YouTube itself on a mobile phone.
“What you’re looking at is what few people ever get to see,” Hedges says of crews’ work in the operating room. “This is all done by sensors.”
Traffic Lab is a Seattle Times project that digs into the region’s thorny transportation issues, spotlights promising approaches to easing gridlock, and helps readers find the best ways to get around. It is funded with the help of community sponsors Alaska Airlines, CenturyLink, Kemper Development Co., Sabey Corp., Seattle Children’s hospital and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Seattle Times editors and reporters operate independently of our funders and maintain editorial control over Traffic Lab content.
“Think about that? A tunneling machine as tall as a five-story building, 200-feet below Seattle that can hit a target nearly two miles away.”
Bertha, the world’s largest tunnel-boring machine, is on schedule to emerge this spring after a years-long dig from Sodo to South Lake Union as part of WSDOT’s multibillion-dollar plan to replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct.
Officials expect to open the new four-lane, $2.1 billion tunnel to traffic in 2019.