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Fri April 16 2021

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Lawsuit filed over TBM Bertha’s breakdown

13 Oct 15 Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has filed a lawsuit against the contractor building the delayed SR 99 tunnel project.

Bertha is being repaired
Bertha is being repaired

Repairs are under way to the project’s tunnel boring machine, Bertha, which has been at a standstill since late in 2013 (link opens in new tab).

WSDOT said that it is committed to working with the contracting joint venture, Seattle Tunnel Partners, to complete the project. The filing was prompted by recent court filings by STP and its insurance companies, said WSDOT. “Filing this lawsuit ensures WSDOT will have a right to make legal claims in the future,” it added. “This lawsuit does not prevent STP from pursuing claims under the terms of the design-build contract.”

It said that taking action to preserve WSDOT’s rights in court was a necessary step. “Our focus remains on completing the project, and removing the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct. We intend to ask for a stay of WSDOT’s lawsuit until the project is completed and asked STP to join us in this request.”

This delay in the lawsuit is intended to allow for work on the SR 99 Tunnel Project to be completed before litigation takes place.

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