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Topic: WSDOT Secretary Lynn Peterson

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September 10, 2014 at 8:42 AM

State names Pierce Transit leader as new ferries chief

The Washington State Department of Transportation has named Lynne Griffith, CEO of Pierce Transit, to lead the state ferries system. Griffith begins her new role at Washington State Ferries in October, said a news release this morning from Lynn Peterson, state transportation secretary. Griffith takes the helm amid a squall of problems, such as boat breakdowns…

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Comments | More in Traffic & Transit | Topics: Lynne Griffith, Washington State Ferries, WSDOT Secretary Lynn Peterson

May 31, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Tunnel machine Bertha’s big green disk descends in Sodo

Highway 99 tunnel workers, politicians and supporters gathered this morning to venerate the world-record cutting head while a huge crane lowered it into the south portal at Sodo.

The green, 57 1/2-foot disk had been resting on its side near the sports stadiums, a Sodo landmark in its own right, since a shipload of tunnel machine parts arrived from Japan in early April.

The $2 billion tunnel is part of a $3.1 billion replacement for the old Alaskan Way Viaduct, which sank a few inches after being damaged by the 2001 Nisqually earthquake. House Transportation Committee Chairwoman Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, gave a cheerful tint to the project’s long gestation, which devoured tens of millions of dollars for preliminary engineering and public outreach.

“If you take two or three years to make a decision, or maybe five or six, the technology advances to a point where you could do this with a single bore,” she said, at similar cost to another viaduct.

99tunnel_backside

Photo by Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times

This photo shows the disk from its backside. The red device in the foreground is the segment erector, which will use vacuum suction to lift about 14,400 arc-shaped concrete pieces, which will form the tunnel tube to South Lake Union. The circular opening in the center is where a conveyor screw will push excavated dirt toward the rear of the 326-foot long machine.

The cutter head alone is 838 tons — of which 9 tons of steel will be scraped off by abrasive soil over the course of a 14-month dig, said state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson.

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Comments | More in Traffic & Transit | Topics: Highway 99 tunnel, WSDOT Secretary Lynn Peterson