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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

July 18, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Saturday: your own photo op with tunnel machine Bertha

The public is invited to peer into the Sodo launch pit Saturday and take a lingering gaze at the world’s widest tunnel-boring machine, before excavation of the Highway 99 tunnel begins in late July.

catwalk 99

The public can go onto this catwalk Saturday and view Bertha at close range. The 57-foot, 4-inch diameter drill is named after Bertha Knight Landes, mayor of Seattle in 1926-28. (WSDOT photo via Flickr)

The event, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., is part of an opening ceremony to be led by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Viewers should wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes  — and leave backpacks at home. That is because people will be allowed onto a catwalk that spans the pit, so if folks turn around they will whack each other with backpacks, and someone may stumble. Also, backpacks will undergo a security check similar to a baseball or football game.

Hundreds are expected, said spokeswoman KaDeena Yerkan, who recalls October 2011 when 3,200 people walked on a stub of the old Alaskan Way Viaduct, to celebrate demolition of the southern mile. Event details can be found here.

Comments | Topics: Bertha Knight Landes; Big Bertha


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