Cross passage excavation completed on U-Link

5 March 2013

Construction is complete on University-Link cross passage, including one in particular that had been underway 100ft (30.5m) below the surface since July 2012.

Cross Passage 17, is one of 21 on the twin tunnel project connecting between downtown Seattle and Husky Stadium. The cross passages range between 18 to 24ft (5.5 to 7.3m) long and about 10ft (3m) in diameter.

"Building Cross Passage 17 became very challenging when the contractor [a joint venture of Traylor Brothers/Frontier-Kemper] and encountered more water than originally anticipated. To stabilise the area for mining, it was necessary to remove water from the ground surrounding the tunnel to give crews a safe working environment," according to Sound Transit in a release on 19 February.

"For more than six months, generator-powered pumps removed water from soils around the tunnels. Today, Cross Passage 17 is nearly complete and work has turned to finishing the U-Link tunnels, including installing concrete duct banks, walkways, light rail tracks, power and signaling supply lines, tunnel lighting and communications systems."

In other U-Link news, contractor joint venture Jay Dee/Coluccio/Michels, or JCM, will turn over the Capitol Hill Station site to Turner Construction Co., which is building the station.

The U-Link line is expected open in 2016.