Jumbo Delivers Bertha, the World’s Largest Tunnel Boring Machine [IMAGES]

Jumbo Shipping’s Fairpartner called on Seattle, Washington recently to deliver a rather unique, and awesome piece of equipment…

jumbo shipping seattle
Image courtesy Stefan Wolczko

Nicknamed “Bertha” and at a price tag of $80 million, it is the world’s largest diameter tunnel boring machine.  Bertha’s 57-foot diameter cutting surface will dig a 1.7 mile tunnel underneath the city of Seattle at a rate of 3 inches per minute over the next few years.  Click HERE for a diagram showing the route of the tunnel.

port of seattle
Port of Seattle, image courtesy Stefan Wolczko

Built in Osaka by Japanese firm Hitachi Zosen Corporation, Bertha was taken apart into 41 separate pieces, the largest weighing about 900 tons, before being loaded on the Fairpartner roughly two weeks ago.

tunnel boring machine

jumbo fairpartner
Fairpartner, image (c) WSDOT

Bertha, in all her glory…

bertha tunnel boring machine
Image (c) WSDOT