Bertha’s Home!

At long last, greeted by an impressive water display from the Seattle Fire Department’s fireboat, Bertha, the world’s largest-diameter tunneling machine, has arrived in Elliott Bay.

Fairpartner with Bertha on board (Photo by James Love)

Fairpartner with Bertha on board (Photo by James Love)

Seattle skyline behind Bertha (Photo by James Love)

Seattle skyline behind Bertha (Photo by James Love)

View from Jack Block Park

View from Jack Block Park

Seattle’s waterfront was well prepared for her entrance: the Seattle Great Wheel on Pier 57 lit up in the colors of the Japanese flag to welcome Bertha, Seattle Aquarium featured a welcome on their outdoor marquee, and the Washington State Ferries marked the event with banners at Colman Dock. Some of the restaurants are offering specialty cocktails and dishes in honor of Bertha’s coming to town (see more here).

Now, the Jumbo Fairpartner carrying the behemoth machine is waiting in the bay. Crews are making preparations on ship and on shore, but need to work around other marine traffic before docking at Terminal 46.

Bertha is expected to start digging in the summer of 2013.

For more information on the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement program, visit www.alaskanwayviaduct.org.