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Seattle Times letters to the editor

Topic: Bertha

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January 5, 2015 at 12:02 PM

Highway 99 tunnel: Boondogglers are digging for money

Last week, state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson unabashedly reported that $959 million of the $1.44 billion contract has been spent on the tunnel project, suggesting that the completion date and overall costs are indeterminable [“Stalled Bertha’s tunnel project 70% done?” Local News, Dec. 27]. As a consequence, the entire tunnel project and the tax dollars of…


Comments | More in Viaduct | Topics: Bertha, Guy Detrick, Highway 99 tunnel

December 18, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Highway 99 tunnel: A comparison to a past boondoggle

Those with some years and who still have memory will remember the nuclear power fiasco during Gov. Dan Evans’ reign, which came to be known as “Whoops,” a morph of the acronym for Washington Public Power Supply System. That resulted in the abandonment of half-built nuclear power plants around the state at great expense to…


Comments | More in Viaduct | Topics: Bertha, Gov. Chris Gregoire, Gov. Dan Evans

December 16, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Highway 99 tunnel: Give Bertha a burial service

The Alaskan Way Viaduct with CenturyLink Field and Mount Rainier in the background (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times).

I recommend that the reality of the situation be accepted and addressed before the downtown sinks any further [“WSDOT explains the settling, liability and safety of the Highway 99 tunnel project,” Opinion, Dec. 15]. It is well known that Seattle sits on unstable ground, and tunneling has now disturbed it.

Stop pumping. Leave Bertha where it is and give it a decent burial service. Get on with a workable solution — either a new viaduct or


Comments | More in Viaduct | Topics: Bertha, Gretchen Lambert, highway 99

December 12, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Highway 99 tunnel: Think about sunk cost

In The Seattle Times editorial “Digging out from the tunnel mess” [Opinion, Dec. 10], the editorial board stated, “The lack of a clear path forward is emboldening the doomsday prognosticators demanding that the plug be pulled on the tunnel. With $1 billion of the $1.44 billion contract already spent, that would be grievous…


Comments | More in Viaduct | Topics: Bertha, David Goodkin, highway 99

February 26, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Bertha: Call it quits

BERTHA’S BROKEN SEALS: The $80 million tunnel-boring machine is suffering from damage to the seals that are supposed to protect its $5 million main bearing. But before it even got to Seattle, the same seals were a problem. Workers in Japan discovered damage and ended up taking Bertha apart for repairs. (Mark Nowlin / The Seattle Times).

While the tunnel to replace the viaduct may have appeared to be a bright idea, it now is appearing to be more of a folly [“Bertha’s big troubles started in Japan,” Local News, Feb. 25]. Plagued by problems from the start — seals failed during initial testing in Japan — it has only managed to travel 1,025 feet of the 1.7 miles needed for the tunnel.

In one respect, the Seattle Tunnel Partners may be fortunate it broke down where it did because they have access to be able to dig a pit to remove the cutting head to repair the seals.


Comments | More in Bertha drill | Topics: alaskan way viaduct, Bertha, Ron Hopper

January 26, 2014 at 6:02 AM

Bertha: WSDOT bore responsibility for removing obstructions

As a retired public works official with the City of Bellevue, I have followed with great interest the conundrum surrounding Bertha, the stuck tunnel boring machine [“Rock was just the right size to get stuck in Bertha,” The Today File, Jan. 22]. In my experience, one of the chief responsibilities of a lead agency,…


Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: Bertha, Clark Douglas, highway 99

September 12, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Getting Bertha moving again

Cut out unions Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 19 picket the site of the State Route 99 tunnel project site on the Seattle waterfront Aug. 20, 2013. [Erika Schultz, The Seattle Times.] Those in charge of the tunnel project should simply hire nonunion workers to deal with the removal of the excavated material…


Comments | More in Economy, Politics, Seattle | Topics: Bertha, labor, tunnel

September 11, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Labor dispute halts tunnel work in Seattle

A picket line that needs to be crossed Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 19 picket the site of the State Route 99 tunnel project site on the Seattle waterfront in August. [Erika Schultz, The Seattle Times.] I do not understand the longshoremen’s union’s position on the removal of dirt from the tunnel project….


Comments | More in Labor, Politics, Seattle | Topics: Bertha, ILWU, labor

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