News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Crow's eye view of the Maple Leaf Portal dig

March 14th, 2014 · 4 Comments

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.

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