• Statement from WSDOT regarding the SR 99 Tunnel Project

    “WSDOT is committed to working with Seattle Tunnel Partners to complete the SR 99 Tunnel Project. 
    We are also committed to protecting taxpayers. 
    Today, WSDOT filed a lawsuit against STP in King County Superior Court. This filing was prompted by recent court filings by STP and their insurance companies. Filing this lawsuit ensures WSDOT will have a right to make legal claims in the future. This lawsuit does not prevent STP from pursuing claims under the terms of the design-build contract.
    Taking action to preserve WSDOT’s rights in court was a necessary step. Our focus remains on completing the project, and removing the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct. We intend to ask for a stay of WSDOT’s lawsuit until the project is completed and asked STP to join us in this request. 
    This delay in the lawsuit will allow for work on the SR 99 Tunnel Project to be completed before litigation takes place.  
    The intent of today’s action is simple: protect the interests of Washington taxpayers. 
    There will be no further statements on this legal matter.”
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  • Oct. 7 project update: New video shows Bertha repair effort

    Work continues at the bottom of the 120-foot-deep pit where Seattle Tunnel Partners is readying Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, for the rest of her tunnel drive beneath downtown Seattle. With repairs at the surface complete and all major components of the tunneling machine safely in the pit, STP and manufacturer Hitachi Zosen are focused on completing the reassembly portion of their repair effort.
    Crews are currently welding pieces of the machine back together, and reconnecting hundreds of wires and hoses that are integral to the tunneling operation. Although significant work is ongoing, much of it is can’t be seen from the surface. As part of our ongoing effort to keep the public informed about STP’s work, we asked STP Project Manager Chris Dixon to recap their repair effort to date and explain what’s next as they work to get Bertha moving again. Check out the resulting video, which includes exclusive shots of work occurring inside the machine and the access pit.
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  • Plan ahead: Semiannual viaduct inspection closure set for Halloween weekend

    October is here, which means the semiannual inspection closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct is just around the corner.
    Both directions of SR 99 will be closed between South Spokane Street and the north end of the Battery Street Tunnel from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, Nov. 1. Please plan ahead and be prepared for additional congestion as a result of this closure.
    Closing the viaduct will allow crews to perform maintenance and thoroughly inspect the structure, as they do each spring and fall. Read our viaduct safety fact sheet (pdf 2.9 Mb) to learn more about what we do to keep the viaduct safe and open to drivers until the tunnel project is complete.  
    Viaduct inspection
    Survey crews walk the viaduct during a previous inspection.
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Program Spotlight

  • Understanding project insurance

    Protecting taxpayers is a top priority as we replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. An important tool in this effort is our design-build contract with Seattle Tunnel Partners, which places a greater share of project risk on the contractor by requiring them to design and build the tunnel.

    Another protective measure is insurance, which the contract requires STP to have. Both STP and WSDOT are named on the project’s insurance policy, and both entities have the right to make insurance … more