Contents tagged with SR 99 tunnel

  • + Was any part of the tunneling machine saved for posterity or public viewing?

    The tunneling machine was owned by the original manufacturer, Hitachi Zosen, and the decision on what to do with the machine was theirs to make. Hitachi Zosen worked with The Port of Seattle and the Museum of History and Industry to preserve several pieces of the machine. The Port of Seattle received pieces of the cutterhead, and MOHAI received cutting tools and the machine's control panel. Most of the machine was recycled or preserved for use in other machines.

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  • + How many lanes will the tunnel have?

    Each direction of the tunnel will have two 11-foot travel lanes with an eight-foot safety shoulder and a two-foot shoulder. These lanes will ensure enough space for all vehicles and legal size trucks.

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  • + Who will pay for the cost associated with the tunneling machine stoppage?

    In December 2013, Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) stopped tunneling approximately 1,000 feet into the tunnel drive after measuring increased temperatures in the tunneling machine. While investigating the cause of the high temperatures, STP discovered damage to the machine’s seal system and contamination within the main bearing. STP and manufacturer Hitachi Zosen completed repairs to the machine in December 2015.

    In 2014, Seattle Tunnel Partners requested $125 million in additional compensation related to this stoppage. WSDOT denied that request after determining it had no contractual merit. The process for resolving disputes within the tunnel contract is prescriptive. It requires multiple steps by both parties. Should Seattle Tunnel Partners continue to pursue entitlement related to the stoppage, it will take time to resolve. Ultimately, the responsibility for costs associated with the delay will be determined through the project's design-build contract. 

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  • + When will the SR 99 tunnel open to drivers?

    Seattle Tunnel Partners, as WSDOT's design-build contractor for the tunnel project, is responsible for the project schedule. Based on STP's most recent schedule, the tunnel could open to drivers as soon as fall 2018. WSDOT's goal is to safely open the tunnel to traffic as quickly as possible, but it’s too early to accurately predict a tunnel opening date. A significant amount of work remains before tunnel opening. Safety and quality remain our top priorities, and will continue to guide all work on the program.

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  • + Will tolling cause diversion?

    The Advisory Committee on Tolling and Traffic Management reviewed several potential toll scenarios in an effort to meet the Legislature's $200 million toll-funding requirement and minimize traffic diversion. Results from their analysis are available online.  

    In summer 2016, WSDOT commissioned an independent traffic analysis firm to conduct a traffic and revenue study that will inform the toll rate setting process. Learn more about the study at WSDOT's Tolling page

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  • + Will the SR 99 tunnel be tolled?

    In 2013, WSDOT was directed by the Washington State Legislature to raise $200 million from tolls for the SR 99 Tunnel Project. The Advisory Committee on Tolling and Traffic Management studied ways to refine tolling of the SR 99 tunnel to minimize traffic diversion and meet funding goals, and investigate strategies to reduce or mitigate diversion. The committee submitted recommendations in 2014 (pdf 1.8 Mb).

    In summer 2016, WSDOT commissioned an independent traffic analysis firm to conduct a traffic and revenue study that will inform the toll rate setting process. Learn more about the study at WSDOT's Tolling page

    Toll rates for the SR 99 tunnel have not been determined. The Washington State Transportation Commission will oversee the rate-setting process closer to when the tunnel opens to traffic.

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  • + Will the tunnel have mid-town exits?

    The SR 99 tunnel will not have mid-town exits. The tunnel and a new Alaskan Way street are designed to work together to replace the functionality of the viaduct. The tunnel will have the capacity to accommodate trips through downtown, while the rest of today’s viaduct users will access downtown using ramps at either end of the tunnel. Along the waterfront, a new Alaskan Way street will provide several east-west connections to downtown, replacing the function of today’s midtown viaduct on-ramp and off-ramp.

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