Downtown Seattle safe from Bertha, ‘assuming contractor abides by its commitment’

Mar 15, 2016, 10:40 AM | Updated: 4:35 pm
Gov. Jay Inslee says there’s no reason to worry about Bertha causing more sinkholes if safety...
Gov. Jay Inslee says there's no reason to worry about Bertha causing more sinkholes if safety protocols are followed. (WSDOT)
(WSDOT)

There’s no reason for people living and working in downtown Seattle to worry when Bertha tunnels underneath them, as long as the contractor stays committed to safety, Gov. Jay Inslee says.

“Yes, assuming this contractor continues to abide by its commitment to the people of the State of Washington (they should be safe),” Inslee told Seattle’s Morning News.

Seattle Tunnel Partners, the contractor for the Bertha tunneling machine, is a private entity, but Inslee says it needs to deliver on its promises.

“They owe us a tunnel,” he said. “They’ve gotta give us a tunnel safely.”

The realities of a tunnel under Seattle have increased recently. Bertha bored about 300 feet in the past three weeks, reaching Safe Haven 3. The maintenance stop precedes movement under the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Related: Inslee astounded by Seattle tunnel contractor’s decisions to stop quality control

The move under the viaduct will be one watched closely by the state. Inslee stopped the project because of a sinkhole that developed behind the boring machine in January. The project was allowed to resume after Inslee said changes &#8212 that included “very substantial” safety protocols &#8212 were made.

Some safety protocols didn’t seem to exist much, if at all when the sinkhole developed. In January, Inslee told Seattle’s Morning News that the contractor stopped doing quality control work. Essentially, the contractor was not “adequately measuring the dirt” it was removing, Inslee said.

In addition, to the safety protocols reportedly set in place, and fixes to Bertha, Inslee said Tuesday that some “personnel” were replaced. Jamie Smith with the governor’s office confirmed there were “leadership changes.”

“The leadership changes were specifically around tunneling and quality control,” Laura Newborn, spokesperson for the viaduct replacement program, wrote to KIRO Radio. “Chris Dixon remains the Project Manager for STP. We generally do not give out STP staff names.”

Inslee said it is imperative to have a safe system that goes under the viaduct and downtown. With new people and protocols in place, he said he’s now more confident in the project moving forward.

Uncategorized

Sounder train...
MyNorthwest Staff

Sounder trains canceled between Seattle and Everett for landslide

Sound Transit has canceled Sounder N Line service between Seattle and Everett until Thursday due to a landslide that has covered the tracks.
17 days ago
Seattle garbage...
MyNorthwest Staff

Garbage, recycling pickup resumes for Seattle area

Garbage and recycling pickup resumes in Seattle after last week's snowstorm.
18 days ago
snow...
MyNorthwest Staff

Monday commuters to face icy roads across Puget Sound region

Freezing temperatures have settled in over Western Washington after a day of several inches of snow for most locations, creating an ice rink for commuters on Monday morning. 
26 days ago
Ferry cancellations...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Washington State Ferries announce alternate Sunday schedules

Due to severe crewing shortages, the Washington State Ferries announced plans to operate an alternate service schedule on Sunday.
3 months ago
President Joe Biden speaks about COVID-19 vaccinations. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)...
Alex Overall

Todd Herman Show Notes: 10.8.2021

Read and Catch up on the latest show notes brought to you by the Todd Herman Show on AM 770 KTTH
4 months ago
This image released by National Geographic shows Dr. Anthony Fauci at the NIH in Bethesda, Md., dur...
Alex Overall

Todd Herman Show Notes: 9.21.2021

Read and Watch the latest sources and news media related to the Todd Herman Show on AM 770 KTTH.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Downtown Seattle safe from Bertha, ‘assuming contractor abides by its commitment’