As crews disassemble the tunnel-boring machine — and the manufacturer finalizes its ultimate fate — Traffic Lab wants to know what you think should become of Bertha’s front end.
A successful end to an underdog’s journey? Or a long-awaited finish to a series of frustrating travails?
However you consider Bertha’s breakthrough last month, there’s no question the tunnel-boring machine’s finale had the epic qualities of a good book or film. Tens of thousands of people tuned in to watch it live.
So, as crews disassemble the machine — and the manufacturer finalizes its ultimate fate — Traffic Lab wants to know how you would end Bertha’s story.
What should become of the machine’s 630-ton, 57-foot, 4-inch diameter cutting disk?
Traffic Lab is a Seattle Times project that digs into the region’s thorny transportation issues, spotlights promising approaches to easing gridlock, and helps readers find the best ways to get around. It is funded with the help of community sponsors Alaska Airlines, CenturyLink, Kemper Development Co., Sabey Corp., Seattle Children’s hospital and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Seattle Times editors and reporters operate independently of our funders and maintain editorial control over Traffic Lab content.
A few fans have already posted their thoughts on a Reddit thread dedicated to ”saving Bertha” for an art installation, and a local artist last month launched an online crowdfunding effort to raise $100,000 to buy the machine’s parts.
As of Wednesday, donors had contributed $550, the GoFundMe page shows.
Bertha finished its 1.7-mile trip underneath downtown Seattle on April 4. Crews over months will break down and hoist away the machine’s front-end steel and pull its rear conveyors, walkways and hoses back through the tunnel.
Hitachi Zosen, the machine’s builder, has…