Tuesday, July 31, 2012

You're invited to the unveiling of Seattle's most “boring” exhibit

Tunnel boring machine unveiled at
Milepost 31, 211 First Ave. S., Seattle
By guest blogger
KaDeena Yerkan

It’s not often someone would purposely advertise a new exhibit as boring, but in this case, the description fits. Because we’re literally talking about boring – a tunnel, that is.

All this boring-ness is taking place at Milepost 31 in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood. For those who haven’t visited it yet, Milepost 31 is a new project information center for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. It provides an inside look at the SR 99 Tunnel Project, and celebrates the people and projects that shaped Pioneer Square.

Now, Milepost 31 was already a pretty exciting place to visit. It’s filled with artifacts and interactive exhibits that describe the tunnel, the neighborhood’s changing landscape and the role transportation has played in the city’s development. In fact, Milepost 31 recently received the American Association for State and Local History’s Leadership in History Award, the nation's most prestigious competition for achievement in state and local history.

But we’re not ones to rest on our laurels. Which is why we’re introducing a new exhibit in August - a 10-foot long, 1/35th-scale, motorized model of the massive SR 99 tunnel boring machine (TBM). The TBM is the most important part of this project. Its size and capabilities are what makes the tunnel possible. So having a working model that people can examine and explore will help us better explain what’s happening with the project as it progresses.

The public is invited to join in the fun on Aug. 2 when the model makes its debut. The event will include remarks by Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond followed by an open house and opportunity to talk with project engineers.
Unveiling of SR 99 tunnel boring machine model
6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2
(during the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square)
Milepost 31, 211 First Ave. S., Seattle
If you can’t attend the unveiling, you can check out the model and other exhibits at Milepost 31 anytime between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. And remember, admission is free.