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Crow’s eye view of the Maple Leaf Portal dig

Posted by Mike on March 14th, 2014

A reader sent us this link to a construction cam atop the Maple Leaf Portal work site.

(Sometimes we can get it to work. Sometimes we can’t. Go figure.)

He also says First Avenue  Northeast at the site, which is currently one-way southbound, may not reopen in both directions as scheduled at the end of this month.

“The contractor just requested that they keep it one lane through May. (Sound Transit) hasn’t decided yet if they’re going to grant that yet, and part of that decision will be up to SDOT.”

A different reader, who clearly knows a lot more about the light rail project than we do, emailed the below last week.

Glossary (by editor):

TBM =  Tunnel Boring Machine (we think).

ST = Sound Transit.

Brenda = TBM named after a project manager’s wife, according to comments on an earlier post. Brenda is not Bertha, the whopping big TBM stuck on its way under downtown.

North Link = light rail that will run from Husky Stadium to Roosevelt Station to Northgate. It should reach Northgate in 2021.

Togo and Balto: From the same comments: “The two TBMs that are digging from UW to Capitol Hill were named Togo and Balto after famous Huskies – the four-legged kind.”

The fact sheet regarding tunneling in the North Link document archive notes that one TBM will be launched from Maple Leaf toward Roosevelt, where it will be trucked back to Maple Leaf for re-launch. Two TBMs will be launched from Roosevelt toward UW.

Brenda’s remnants are definitely at Maple Leaf, ST noted that in an earlier press release. Probably fitted with a new shield assembly and cutter head. I believe the original shield was left in place in the tunnel near the Paramount. I’m guessing Togo and Balto will likely be reused on the Roosevelt to UW segment, as that would be a cost effective move for the contractor and probably figured into their bid. Maybe rename them Brendaborg, Togoborg and Baltoborg. :)

Looking forward to this group trying to beat the ULINK bar for cost and schedule, but we shall see, hopefully no immovable objects stand in their way.



Tags: Uncategorized

4 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Tim // Mar 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    In talking to Ron Endlich (Northgate Link Deputy Project Director) at the meeting two TBMs will be launched sequentially (late spring/early summer) at Maple Leaf all the way to UW and the third will be kept as a spare.

    The cutterhead is definitely new or at least significantly refurbished. It looks clean enough to eat off. Also mentioned was that the TBMs were outfitted with new motors and new hydraulic lines. The activity down at the site now is the crew assembling the trailing gear (the equipment that follows the cutterhead that brings the spoils out and also guides the TBM).

    Also, can’t find the source, but “North Link” was renamed “Northgate Link Extension”.

  • 2 lazarus // Mar 18, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I think you must have misunderstood what Ron said regarding the tunneling.

    http://www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/Northgate-Link-Extension/Tunneling-for-Northgate-Link

  • 3 Tim // Mar 18, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    @lazarus Definitely not. It’s possible the contractor’s boring plans changed since that webpage was updated or there is a break in the communication chain.

  • 4 Dorothy // Mar 19, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    You found Jimmy Hoffa!!!