Bye Bye Bertha? Senate bill would end tunnel project

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bertha

Bertha. (KCPQ photo)

SEATTLE (AP) — Two state senators want to kill the Seattle tunnel project and bury Bertha, the broken down drilling machine, so the transportation department can start over.

Republican senators Michael Baumgartner and Doug Ericksen introduced a bill Tuesday that says the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project has failed. Baumgartner says the state needs to stop throwing money at a hole in the ground.

The bill says Bertha only drilled 1,000 feet of a two-mile tunnel before breaking down and the rescue plan has been “plagued with delays.” The lawmakers say the $3 billion project was launched amid promises that no significant cost overruns would occur. But they believe taxpayers will end up on the hook for millions.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Jay Inslee responded to the bill by saying the Legislature has already made its decision on the project.

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