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Dori Monson offering praise for Seattle tunnel project?

KIRO Radio's Dori Monson started the show off Monday with some praise for the Seattle Tunnel project, a very surprising turn for Dori who's been very vocal about his skepticism on the project. (WSDOT image)

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

I’m starting the show with congratulations to the Seattle tunnel project.

I know people aren’t used to me praising them. But the number one story at The Seattle Times was: “Worker safety a bright spot on troubled Hwy. 99 tunnel project.”

So I start reading the story and it turns out when you don’t dig a tunnel, it’s an incredibly safe job.

Did you see how many hours they’ve worked on the tunnel? It turns out that so far, they’ve worked three and a quarter million man hours on the tunnel project. And they’ve hardly had any injuries!

I was so proud to be a Washingtonian when I read about the safety record on the Seattle tunnel.

Let’s see if we can calculate here. How many feet have they gone? 1,000 feet. So 1,000 feet divided by 2.35 million hours. They’re spending, by my calculations, roughly 3,000 hours per foot.

Couldn’t you have gotten deeper with shovels than they’ve gotten so far?

Here’s the problem, those shovels are very dangerous. So they’re using these super-safe non-digging machines that are broken under the city.

They have had a few injuries though, according to L&I records referenced in the Times story. They’ve had 63 L&I claims resulting in only $268,976 in payouts. So we’ve only spent a quarter million dollars in L&I payouts to workers who’ve accomplished absolutely nothing. It is remarkable.

If we’ve got to spend $100 billion on this tunnel, if we can do it while maintaining this remarkable safety record of only 63 injury claims and only a quarter million dollars in payouts, that’s something to be proud of.

I want to just take a moment to congratulate the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Seattle Tunnel Partners, because you guys are showing us how to get it done – not the actual digging of the tunnel – but safety.

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

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