36 Replies to “LIVE: U Link Tunnel Boring Machine Dedication”

  1. I wish I was younger as these are very exciting times for rail transit in the Seattle area. Projects I had hoped for in my youth are now coming to fruition!

    1. Yeah, it’s like when you used to ride the Interurban Trolley.

      (Of course, that didn’t seem to need a $2 billion tunnel to get across half the state…)

  2. The politicians talked so long that the coverage was cut off before the boring-machine was christened.

    I like that they brought up the guy from the Building and Trades Council, who used the opportunity to talk about safety during construction.

    I’m not sure Paula Hammond really deserved a speaking spot. All WSDOT did was contribute to the Rainier Vista / Triangle beautification project, and take away the freeway transfer bus stop, necessitating better bus access to the station. Speaking of which, everyone carefully avoided the topic of bus access to the station, while crowing about the pedestrian and bike access (admittedly, more important, but no reason not to have bus access).

    Let us pray to the Creator that the construction project be completed on time, under budget, and most of all SAFELY!

    1. Pavement Paula is on the ST Board. The WSDOT Secretary is automatically on the ST Board.

      Also, Montlake Boulevard passing Malamute Stadium is State Route 513.

      So she gets to speak.

      1. I wonder if they’re actually going to start digging today then, or if today was just ceremonial. You’d think if they were going to start someone would post something on Youtube.

    1. No, because no one pays attention to Sewer tunnels. Back when Sound Move was being debated, all the anti-transit ranters were going on and on about how it is impossible to tunnel in the Glacial silt that is Seattle.

      Of course all the Sewer projects, plus the Bus Tunnel, the utility tunnel under the ship canal near I-5, and the US10/I-90 Mount Baker Tunnel were conveniently ignored.

      It’s used at a Public Relations exercise. The kiddies get to suggest names and win a prize, and the insecure politicians get to put on a shiny new hard-hat and make a (vacuous) speech.

      I am sure that if the Deep Throat Tunnel ever does get underway, this blog can have a field day in suggesting names for the TBMs.

  3. Adam, thanks for posting as much viewing as we got. It was good to hear from the building trades guy.

    Given Scriptural warnings about the consequences of major national waste and general malfeasance, especially mistreatment of the poor, it might be best not to mention the Creator’s name in the same sentence with the word “budget” right now. A few days of fire and brimstone, locally coupled with a force 10 quake, could really mess up the work schedule.

    The Creator has given us everything we need to accomplish this project, and the rest of our lives’ work- starting with the ability and the good character to get our own job right, whatever it is. Whatever interferes- comes from another theological quarter.

    For now-hope the bottle didn’t break anything on the machine that’ll have to wait for a replacement.

    Mark Dublin

    1. This is a good point, what are the names of the TMBs? We should come up with some. Here are my stream of consciousness suggestions:

      He-Man & She-Ra
      Tic & Tac
      Chip & Dale
      Abbott & Costello
      OMG & LOL
      Yin & Yang
      Calvin & Hobbes
      Burp & Slurp
      McGinn & Gregoire
      Vader & Obi-wan
      Wallace & Grommet
      Penn & Teller
      Sonny & Cher
      Ren & Stimpy
      Thelma & Louise
      TO & Ochocinco
      Brad & Angelina
      Beevis & Butthead
      Romeo & Juliet
      Stan & Cartman

  4. Does it really take 5 years from today to get this open? I feel like a total of 6 miles dug out between 3 diggers should get this done relatively quick. Any chance they are done ahead of schedule?

    1. They might… or they might not. The speed of the tunneling depends on the soil conditions and other complicating things they may encounter. I believe the construction contract had 180 days of padding in it, of which a handful have been used (IIRC, due to inclement weather during the fall — probably the snOMG at Thanksgiving.)

      Tunneling is hard. And risky. Tunneling under Beacon Hill almost blew the schedule for Central Link. I’d rather they be conservative in these matters; if the line opens early, it will be a delightful surprise to us all.

      1. Yeah another issue to keep in mind is that work on the tunnel and stations can’t really start until the tunnels are done, they can’t really be done concurrently.

    2. The digging is only supposed to take 2 years or so – the rest of the time is everything else (including the months of float, which hopefully will stay high until the end).

      1. Schedule padding. Extra time that ST can grant the contractors due to events that hinder progress that are unforeseen and out of their control.

  5. Is there any official word on the ground breaking for the First Hill streetcar?

    1. If they weren’t out bloviating at Husky Stadium they would have done so somewhere else. Paula should not have been there. These nonsensical events are an integral part of the political/teevee process; individually they cost little, over the course of a year, they must cost jurisdictions several fortunes.

    2. Pretty cheap. I’ve seen the same mult box at various events so I assume they own it. Tents and podiums may have been owned or rented. Renting that stuff is pretty cheap. Then was the cost of the bottle. There were actually two bottles. One was fake. I have no idea what they were using–for all I know it was a bottle of three buck chuck.

      Anyways, the whole thing is a pretty cheap way to get the word out about this thing happening. Word out = hopefully gets people excited. Excited people tend to support ST in various ways. A cheap investment.

    1. Agreed. I don’t think there is time for everyone to give a speech (that would just be a really long program) but to say someone on the BOD shouldn’t have been there ridiculous. Also FYI Paula Hammond is a non-voting member of the BOD, just like she is a non-voting member of PSRC.

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