1. lazarus says

    Ya, I saw that. It’s nice, but……

    I would love a more updated tunneling progress map. I mean, the cams at the station are really boring now that everything is pretty much happening underground. Why not provide a detailed street map showing where the TBM’s are now? Surely ST has such a thing internally…..

    Note, we have one data point. When that mud geyser erupted the other day we at least knew that the cutter head of the TBM was right there.

    Also, if I remember right, when they dug the DSTT they painted a stripe on the sidewalk/roadway showing tunnel progress. I don’t think ST should do that, but how about a real map????

    • joshuadf says

      Well, here’s a data point: “The tunnel boring machine, currently 100 feet under the Montlake neighborhood at about East Louisa Street, has traveled about 2000 feet since it began operation at the University of Washington station next to Husky Stadium.” ST does sometimes say how far they’ve gone and the path is known, right?

      • lazarus says

        That is exactly why we need something better — that graphic absolutely blows!!

        It doesn’t even give a visual indication that Brenda is actually digging two tunnels. It’s one of the worst graphics I have ever seen.

      • bovine says

        I have noticed several media reports from that tour that say ‘about 2000 feet’, yet the last ST update shows over 3100′. So were they giving the reporters old info, or are they averaging the distances between both UW machines, or…?

  2. Gordon Werner says

    I’ve asked @soundtransit on twitter to have a Google map showing the TBM locations (with a dot for each day) but they never responded. I like the painted line idea or at least some above ground marker.

      • Jory says

        I do believe it is much deeper that the Hudson. Several hundred feet comes to mind, but that may be wrong. I’ll go check for more accurate info.

      • Cascadian says

        To complete the comparison, see

        “The lower Hudson river is maintained at a depth of at least 32 feet for commercial traffic from the Port of Albany to New York City, but is as deep as 200 feet in places.”

        So, maximum depth is not that far off. On the other hand, it sounds like the Hudson has a lot more shallow areas. I’m pretty sure Lake Washington is much muddier at the bottom, too, meaning you have to go even deeper to get something stable. I suppose they could also use a tube as with BART in San Francisco Bay.

        Bottom line: it’s possible to build a transit tunnel under the surface of Lake Washington, but the cost isn’t worth the projected ridership. If they did do something like this, a bit further north from Kirkland to Sand Point might make more sense.

      • Willard is his name says

        Except the BART tubes are lying on the bottom of the flat S.F. Bay, enclosed in a simple trench. I think Lake Washington has too steep a trench?

        There was a proposal for floating tunnels kicked around back when WashDOT began to realize that the 520 would need replacement soon.

      • BigDonLives! says

        But but this is Seattle, Things are just DIFFERENT Here!

        Plus we need money for all those free bus vouchers and tent cities for SHARE/WHEEL

      • Brent says

        Yes, the free ticket voucher program is enormously expensive… because Metro puts an extra bus out for every 50 free rides provided to relieve overcrowding. Ya sure, ya betcha they do.

        We don’t want our buses to become mobile homeless shelters. We want them to be mobile joy rides for downtown office workers who get free monthly passes.

        But seriously, the monthly passes could probably sustain a stand-alone fare increase, to say, a round monthly $10 per 25 cents of individual ride cost. Once Metro starts incentivizing e-purse use, the need to incentivize monthly passes will be less, and if more people are paying per ride, more will choose biking and walking for short trips, relieving the buses somewhat from becoming free-joy-ride yuppie mobiles.)

        If Metro/ST can eliminate change fumbling and operator zone fumbling, they are then obviously capable of building a tube along the bottom of Lake Washington… at least until Kemper Freeman sues.

  3. Willard is his name says

    Which ST detractor was it that claimed these tunnels could never be built because of the glacial till? Was it Emory?


  4. Lost my baby on the midnight bus says

    Yes, that was a great article. Like a youngster waiting for Christmas, I can hardly wait. Honestly, living in Seattle since 1964, I never thought I would see rail transit in the Seattle area.

  5. Charles says

    I have to say that this picture along with at least one other in this set were truly stunning in their composition. Award worthy in my opinion.

    • Lost my baby on the midnight bus says

      You bet. I remember some years ago, a Seattle Times photographer took a seemingly simple photograph of a Burlington Northern train along Puget Sound, between Seattle and Everett.This was well before digital cameras. I was amazed at the talent of the photographer. Some of these individuals are true artists.

  6. Ano Nymous says

    This is “light-rail”? I love it! I think heavy rail along the most important TOD corridors belong underground. But this isn’t that stupid “light” stuff like Portland… this is HEAVYrail. Thus, why don’t we call thus the Seattle Subway System?

You may want to read our comment policy.