April 13, 2017
It was an exciting morning yesterday for a lucky group of Teamsters from Local 174, as well as other Teamster Locals across the country who were in town for the IBT Safety and Health Department’s Annual Instructor Development Program, led by Tom George, Director of the Teamsters/AGC Training Center. Local 174 Senior Business Agent Carl Gasca was able to arrange for us to be given access to the immense Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel project, where we were one of the last tour groups likely to be allowed into the site. Drilling of the tunnel — using the largest-ever Deep Boring Machine, “Bertha” — first started July 30, 2013, and after several delays, Bertha finally broke through the far side of her 2-mile journey on April 4, 2017. The project has involved Teamster labor at every step, with Teamsters driving sweepers, water trucks, concrete mixers, and various other heavy equipment in and out of the site.
We would like to thank Seattle Tunnel Partners Project Manager Chris Dixon, as well as STP Tunnel Quality Manager Carl Neagoy and Dragados Vice President of Underground Operations Greg Hauser for allowing us into the tunnel and giving us an amazing tour. The sheer immensity of this tunnel was indescribable, and difficult to properly capture in photos. The amount of skill, ingenuity, and absolute perfectionism involved in getting this work done boggles the mind. The more our tour guides explained the process of drilling, mining, and building the tunnel, the more awestruck our entire group became.