Bertha – Seattle’s Own Tunnel Fiasco

Bertha the tunnel boring machine won’t dig until at least March 2015.  Contractors say they’ll lift the 2,000-ton front end of the world’s biggest tunnel-boring machine to the surface for repairs. Meanwhile, digging of the waterfront highway tunnel will be on hold six months longer than previously planned. Read the entire article at:
Bertha stall may cost $125 million, but who will pay? The $125 million isn’t a hard figure, and who will pay is yet to be determined.  That amount is 1½ times the $80 million STP paid for the machine, completed in 2012 by Hitachi Zosen in Osaka, Japan.  Dixon said the $125 million was based on restarting Bertha by Sept. 1, which was STP’s earlier, optimistic goal.  The restart has been delayed until March 2015, and he said it’s fair to assume costs would therefore increase. Read the entire article at
Seattle Tunnel Update Seattle tunnel builder wants $190 million more:
Dori Monson:  Now it’s really time to bury Bertha

So I will repeat today what I called for three months ago. It is time to pull the plug on the Seattle tunnel. It is time to bury Bertha.  This is going to be tough to do because all of those downtown property owners who bought off all of the politicians involved in selling this boondoggle to the public, they expect a return on investment.

They bought off politicians and they used those paid-for-politicians to sell this insane project to the people of the region and they don’t care how much it costs. They just care that they got theirs. Everybody involved has gotten theirs and who is going to be stuck with all of this?  I’m telling you it is going to be more than $1 billion in overruns. Everybody laughed at me when I said that, and they said I’m engaging in hyperbole. Read entire article at

Tuesday Jolt:  WSDOT Secretary Says “Small Possibility” Tunnel Won’t Be Built
Asked whether she could say with 100 percent certainty that the tunnel project would be completed, Peterson told Monson, “You know what? No. We’re going to remain skeptical until we get more information because we still have incomplete information from our contractor.” Read entire article at:



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