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Delayed again: New timeline pushes back Seattle tunnel’s opening

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Bertha. (KCPQ photo)

SEATTLE — The latest timelines for Bertha drilling and a completed Seattle tunnel were released Monday. And once again, they weren’t good.

Under the Washington State Department of Transportation’s latest schedule, the stalled tunneling machine is expected to begin drilling again in late April 2015.

The tunnel is now expected to be open for traffic in Aug. 2017. And vven those dates were rough estimates, the WSDOT said.

The new dates are “long after” the original Dec. 2015 planned opening, the WSDOT said. Since the tunnel boring machine’s stoppage late last year, WSDOT had also been shooting for a revised Nov. 2016 opening date.

“While STP provides us with a schedule each month, we cannot endorse a project completion date until the work is further along,” WSDOT said. “This is very difficult work and certain construction activities have and wil continue to take longer than anticipated.”

In a bit of good news, settlements above the SR 99 tunnel access pit have remained stable for nearly a month, the WSDOT reported.



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