Ship Canal Water Quality project update 4/14/21

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Ship Canal logoMudHoney, SPU's new TBM

(photo credit City of Seattle, Tim Durkan)

Meet MudHoney!

Thank you for helping us #NameThatTBM! We received over 1,200 tunnel boring machine (TBM) name submissions from the community, and over 34,000 votes! After tallying all the votes, we are thrilled to announce that our TBM is now named MudHoney! MudHoney has already had a chance to meet the band it was named after, take a look at this video to see how that went!

TBM artist profile:

Devin Finley is a muralist who specializes in large scale inspired murals. He started as a graffiti artist at age 15 because he loved street accessible art. He became a professional muralist in 2013 and works on both private and public projects. He likes working with clients and audiences to develop engaged and meaningful concepts. His project “MUDHONEY” was painted onto the project’s Tunnel Boring Machine on April 5, 2021. The TBM was named "MudHoney" and Devin used lettering and water droplets to connect the enormous machine, one of Seattle’s famous grunge bands, and rain-- which is part of the reason for the project.

This summer, MudHoney will begin digging a 2.7-mile long, 18-ft 10-in diameter storage tunnel to reduce Seattle’s sewer overflow by 2025! Stay tuned to learn how to follow along as MudHoney digs under our feet. To learn more about the project, visit our project website.

See photos from recent construction activities on Flickr.


Crews are wrapping up assembly of the newly named TBM, MudHoney, and are preparing the shaft and site for tunneling operations that begin this summer. During this time, you can expect:

  • More heavy equipment to arrive on site, such as cranes, potentially at night.
  • Truck deliveries of paving material, concrete, and equipment for the TBM and associated tunnel activities

Working hours are expected to be Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5 pm. We also anticipate working weekends over the next few months to prepare for tunneling.

East Ballard

Crews will continue ground improvement works in NW 45th St. Work in 11th Ave NW will start this summer after the ground improvement work is complete. During this time, you should anticipate:

  • NW 45th St closed to traffic; vehicles must detour onto NW 46th St.
  • Burke-Gilman Trail users remain detoured to the north side of NW 45th St; flaggers to help direct traffic during daytime working hours. Please follow all detour guidance on site. Bicyclists must cross train tracks at 90-degree angles. Please use extra caution in wet weather as ramps may be slippery.
  • Both lanes of 11th Ave NW south of NW 45th St are now open and will remain open for approximately another month.
  • Noise and vibrations typical of a construction site.

Regular work hours will be Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5 pm. Night and weekend work may occur to maintain progress.

See anticipated traffic impacts through 2021 on our website.


Over the next few weeks, crews will continue utility work in NW 36th St. and prepare the site for the equipment required to support the 8-ft conveyance tunnel boring machine. You should anticipate:

  • Dump trucks and excavators working on site and an uptick in traffic in Leary Way NW as trucks haul away excavated material and bring concrete to the site.
  • NW 36th St between Leary Way NW and 3rd Ave NW closed (through remainder of the project).
  • Pedestrians detoured to the north side of Leary Way NW.
  • A pump and bypass system running 24/7 to re-route an existing drainage line around the drop shaft. This system is powered by a generator and will be in place for up to two more weeks.
  • Generators running constantly to power the dewatering pumps until permanent power is available on site.
  • In late April, 2nd Ave NW, between Leary Way NW and NW Canal St, will be closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic to conduct sewer and diversion structure work. This closure is anticipated to last through the end of the year.
  • As early as May, crews will be installing a new water main in Leary Way NW. This will not require lane closures on Leary Way NW at this time, though there will be traffic impacts later this year. If you live near the site, there may be a short, temporary water shut off. If your service will be impacted, you'll receive a door hanger with more information. 

Regular work hours will be Monday through Friday, from 7 am to 5 pm. Night and weekend work may occur to maintain progress.


Secant pile installation is complete! All 101 piles have now been installed.

Crews will start excavation of the 38-ft diameter, approximately 80-ft deep shaft. This work will take several weeks.

During this work you should anticipate:

  • Noise from intermittent demolition work, including jackhammering.
  • Heavy equipment on site and trucks coming in and out of the site to haul away excavated material.

Normal work hours are Monday through Friday, from 7 am to 5 pm.

Queen Anne

This site will continue to be relatively quiet over the next few weeks. Crews will return in mid-April to work on the shaft lining wall. During construction of the lining walls, you should anticipate:

  • Trucks coming in and out of the site to deliver rebar and formwork.
  • Noise and vibrations typical of a construction site.
  • The West Ewing Mini Park parking lot closed. This closure is anticipated to last through mid-2023.
  • A localized Ship Canal Trail detour through summer 2022 (see map).

Regular work hours will be Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5 pm. Night and weekend work may occur to maintain progress.

Contact us

Please email with questions or comments or call (206) 701-0233. You can also find information online at

Visit our website

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