- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) - The contractor digging a highway tunnel under Seattle says costs to repair and restart the tunneling machine will be at least $125 million.

The Seattle Times reports (https://is.gd/F5MNXf) that the project director for Seattle Tunnel Partners mentioned that figure Tuesday during a briefing with The Times’ editorial board. However, $125 million isn’t a hard figure and it’s unclear who will pay.

Chris Dixon says $125 million was based on restarting the drill known as Bertha by Sept. 1. Now the restart has been delayed until March 2015. Dixon says it’s fair to assume costs would increase.

Seattle Tunnel Partners paid $80 million for the machine, completed in 2012 by Hitachi Zosen in Osaka, Japan.

The completed tunnel will allow the state to tear down the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the 60-year-old double-decker highway along the Seattle waterfront that is in danger of collapsing in an earthquake.

The goal is to open the four-lane tunnel to traffic by November 2016.

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

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