Bon voyage party for Bertha draws 5,000 to SR 99 tunnel site

The event included activities designed to teach kids about science and engineering. Guests also had the opportunity to sign their name on one of the concrete segments that will form the tunnel’s walls. 

Bertha, who has been updating her progress on Twitter since December, said she was surprised to see so many people show up to wish her well. “Really humbled by the turnout at my party today,” @BerthaDigsSR99 tweeted Saturday. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all weepy. Just know I’m grateful… and ready to dig.” 

Tunneling will start after final testing is complete, likely by the end of July. The tunnel is scheduled to open to drivers in late 2015. For more information about the SR 99 Tunnel Project, visit