CHS Pics | 10 months, 6 days and a few extra hours — UPDATE: Holethrough!

There’s a TBM behind that (Images: CHS)

CHS has mostly resisted the boring jokes. Until now. How else to describe the hours spent in the middle of the night looking down on a massive construction pit waiting for a tunneling machine to break through? But when you’re talking about a 10-month, 35-feet-at-a-time journey, you can wait a few extra hours. CHS and a contingent of Seattle media and Sound Transit reps were left standing in the cold early Wednesday morning as Tuesday’s planned arrival of the first of two tunnel boring machines from Montlake was *slightly* delayed. Even with the rhythmic grinding of the bore sounding through the concrete wall, as of 3a, the machine still wasn’t expected to “holethrough” until later Wednesday morning.


The machine left Montlake last May with a splash of champagne as part of the overall $1.9 billion project expected to be operational by late 2016. The 21.5-foot diameter machine laid 2,278 concrete rings along the route from Montlake to the Hill and traveled 300 feet below Volunteer Park at its deepest point. It also traveled beneath the Montlake Cut and averaged about 400 feet per week of tunneling during its journey. If you are in the market for a TBM, by the way, you might want to give the Sound Transit contractors a call — this machine has finished its Capitol Hill duty and will be parted out or sold.

We’ll add a few images provided by Sound Transit of the big break when it happens. Here’s what it looked like before the tunnel arrived at Broadway early Wednesday. UPDATE: Sound Transit says the official time for the holethrough was 3:58a.

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9 thoughts on “CHS Pics | 10 months, 6 days and a few extra hours — UPDATE: Holethrough!

  1. I know this because I got a nice news helicopter wake-up call across the street from the site. I tried to stay up and was watching from the roof of my building, not that I’d actually see it emerge from there but figured I’d hear something or see some commotion. Some time soon after midnight I gave up –brutally cold up there.

    So now 2 of the 4 tunnels are complete, and in about a month the third (dug by Balto) will be.

    Now I have a sudden desire for Sound Transit to have some sort of public event like they did last year before Brenda went down on Capitol Hill. This time, beyond just letting us walk the bridge over the station site, let us walk from downtown to UW. A pipe dream, I know. I think it’d be a lot of fun :)

  2. the area around Broadway Station is going to be the most convenient place to live in the entire ciy.

    A new subway station. A new tram stop. Two new rail lines. A wonderful cycle track. All of the amenities that we already have (restaurants, bars, grocery stores, pharmacies, etc etc etc) plus many more (permanent home for the famers’ market!).

    Has anyone brought up the option of having bike sharing stations at the station plaza during Capitol Hill Champion meetings? Bixi bikes would be perfect and super convenient.

  3. I lived in Arizona while they were building the 101 freeway from 98-01 and it was hellish BUT the dept of transport did one great thing for everyone. After each section was finished they had a city funded picnic for ever mile or so stretch. Obviously it didn’t make up for the years of water shutting off and streets being closed but it was pretty cool getting to hang out on the freeway without any cars having lunch.