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Unclogging the SR 99 tunneling machine's cutterhead

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Published on Feb 7, 2014

This video shows a short clip of a worker cleaning the inside of the SR 99 tunneling machine's five-story-tall cutterhead in late January 2014. Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), WSDOT's contractor for the SR 99 Tunnel Project, spent a total of 158 hours performing inspections and unclogging openings in the cutterhead under hyperbaric conditions. Tunneling experts now believe that the clogs and other factors contributed to the stoppage of tunneling on Dec. 6, 2013. Information gathered during the recent inspections will be used by experts working to get machine moving again. As the project's design-build contractor, it is STP's responsibility to determine the best and most expedient way to resume tunneling.

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