- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - The Washington State Department of Transportation says it expects to lose $78 million because the machine digging the tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle broke down.

The Seattle Times reports ( https://bit.ly/1L1M5ki ) that state officials cited the figure in a letter to insurers. The $78 million cost reflects extra spending on administrators, engineers, consulting firms and office space as a two-year delay because of continuing problems with the tunnel-boring machine, known as Bertha.

More money may also be needed to demolish the Alaskan Way Viaduct and build a new waterfront roadway, which can’t happen until after the Highway 99 tunnel opens. That is now scheduled for March 2018. The four-lane tolled tunnel was supposed to open to traffic at the end of 2015.

The state transportation department hopes to be reimbursed by insurance companies.

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