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.
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.