- Associated Press - Saturday, October 25, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) - A Washington state Transportation Department official says it could take “several days or a week” for the state to come up with a plan and consult with Indian tribes before archaeologists can begin sifting through a deposit of shells found above the stalled boring machine for a tunnel under downtown Seattle.

That’s the assessment from Todd Trepanier, the Transportation Department’s Highway 99 administrator.

Work stopped Thursday on excavation of a 120-foot-deep pit that will provide access to the stalled machine so it can be repaired.

The Seattle Times reports (http://is.gd/BQ9igF ) the discarded shells located about 20 feet from the surface could have been left by tribes or early settlers.

At least six tribes, the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and the Federal Highway Administration have been notified about the shells.

The boring machine called Bertha overheated and came to halt last December about 1,000 feet, or 10 percent of the way, into the planned Highway 99 tunnel.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com

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