Ballard’s tunnel boring machine gets a new name: MudHoney

After compiling the votes, Seattle Public Utilities has announced the winning name for the tunnel boring machine in Ballard: MudHoney, in honor of one of Seattle’s most iconic bands.

Over 35,000 votes were cast in the contest to name the tunnel boring machine that will be used for digging a wastewater storage tunnel to reduce water pollution in Salmon Bay, the Ship Canal, and other waterways.

Back in March, Seattle Public Utilities put out a request for submissions to name the massive tunnel boring machine, and received over 1,200 suggestions.

The finalists were the following:

  1. Daphne (everyone’s favorite freshwater planktonic crustaceans)
  2. Molly the Mole (moles dig great holes)
  3. Boris the Plunger (JP Patches fans, this one’s for you)
  4. Sir Digs-A-Lot (We like big drills and we cannot lie)
  5. MudHoney (Because Seattle, baby!)

“Since the late ’80s, Mudhoney, the Seattle-based foursome whose muck-crusted version of rock, shot through with caustic wit and battened down by a ferocious low end, has taken a stand against overflows into our waterways,” SPU shared in a press release about the naming.

Last week, Seattle Public Utilities and King County Wastewater Treatment Division hosted MudHoney at the Ballard project site for the name and tunnel boring machine art unveiling, created by muralist Devin Finley.

County Executive Constantine, SPU General Manager Hara, and Councilmembers Pedersen and Strauss also attended the event (video above).

SPU says that this summer, MudHoney will begin digging the 2.7-mile long, 18-foot diameter storage tunnel that will significantly reduce North Seattle’s wastewater and sewer overflows by 2025. The Ship Canal Water Quality Project will prevent an estimated 75 million gallons of polluted stormwater and sewage from North Seattle neighborhoods from entering local waterways each year.

There are several project sites along the Ship Canal including downtown Ballard (24th Ave NW and Shilshole), East Ballard (11th Ave NW and NW 46th St near Fred Meyer), Fremont (NW 36th St and Leary), Queen Anne (W. Ewing and 3rd Ave W), and Wallingford (Interlake Ave N and N 35th St).

The MudHoney will be stationed at the main Ballard site (24th and Shilshole), where nearby residents can expect the following local impacts:

  • Crews will generally work Monday through Friday from 7 am to 5 pm
  • Possible weekend and nightwork to maintain progress
  • Large equipment, like cranes staged on site
  • Short interruptions on Shilshole Ave NW for trucks entering the work zone, and on 24th Ave NW for trucks exiting the site; please pay attention to flaggers
  • Parking restrictions along the east side of 24th Ave NW so construction trucks can exit the work site
  • 24th Ave NW Pier may have intermittent closures throughout construction
  • Noise typical of a large construction site
  • Access to all buildings and businesses will be maintained
  • For the latest construction information, sign up for our email updates. You can find the latest emails in our Project Library.

You can learn more about the Ship Canal Water Quality Project, a joint project between Seattle Public Utilities and King County Wastewater Treatment Division by visiting the project website.

Photos: SPU

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