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Big Bertha is still stuck; my job is safe

Bertha has been blocked by something unknown in her path in her dig beneath Seattle. (WSDOT image)

Taken from Thursday’s edition of The Dori Monson Show.

How is this still a story? Big Bertha, the drilling machine under downtown Seattle, it was stuck a few days before I went on vacation, so we’re talking about the second week of December. I come to learn today, it hasn’t moved an inch since then. How have they not figured out in three weeks what is blocking it?

So I think if it wasn’t absolutely certain before, I think the bet I made about the downtown Seattle tunnel a few years ago, that was mocked by our state’s department of transportation director at the time, I think my job is safe.

“I heard Dori Monson will quit his job on the radio if we bring it in under budget. That’s enough incentive for us to bring it in under budget,” said former Secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation Paula Hammond.

My job is safe. Seriously, in three weeks they can’t figure out what is blocking this thing.

I predicted at least a billion dollars in cost overruns and I think we’re well on pace for that, if they’ve had this thing stuck for three weeks. Everybody involved in the project is collecting a paycheck still and Bertha is just literally spinning her wheels down there.

I know that Chris Gregoire and Greg Nickels, the governor and the mayor at the time, both hate me because of all my criticism of them. But this shows the absolute absence of leadership from both Gregoire and Nickels, neither one of whom had either worked a day in the private sector in their adult lives.

I said throughout their tenure as governor and mayor respectively that we can’t trust major projects to people who have no idea how to bring something in on time and on budget. Nickels hates me to this day. Gregoire hates me to this day. And it turns out everything I said was right.

I still say we’re going to have a billion dollars in overruns before this thing is finished and done.

Taken from Thursday’s edition of The Dori Monson Show.

Editor’s note: Seattle Tunnel Partners and the Washington State Department of Transportation will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Friday to discuss the results of an inspection to Bertha on Thursday.


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