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Another delay for Seattle tunnel project

Boring at Seattle’s $2 billion tunnel project has been delayed again until next week.

Officials with contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners said Friday that the boring machine is going through more tests before it can be restarted. They say some of the early material that the machine was tunneling through apparently had a chance to solidify while the machine had been shut down.

Bertha only made it 24 feet before drilling on the Seattle tunnel project was stopped because of a union labor dispute.

The longshoreman union’s pickets came down from the job site on Tuesday, and project manager Chris Dixon said that was sort of a surprise. “We’re very pleased,” he said. “The spirits of everybody were lifted on site.”

The project had been shut down for about month because of a union dispute over jobs. Dixon said he’s not sure how much that delay will push the tunneling behind schedule, but he said there are ways to make up time. “We’ve got some opportunities to recover schedule, but we’ll have to see how those play out during the tunnel drive.”

Officials had hoped to restart boring work Friday. They are now looking at some point early next week.

There’s still no estimate on how much this month-long delay will end up costing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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