Alaskan Way Viaduct
8:41 am
Fri January 7, 2011

Seattle tunnel contract signed

The deal is official, but the political fight simmers. The state has put its signature on the contract to build the world's largest deep-bore tunnel, under Seattle's waterfront. It would replace the elevated Alaskan Way Viaduct, SR 99. 

Seattle PI.com' Scott Gutierrez reports Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond signed the $1.1 billion construction contract with Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) on Thursday afternoon. The 154-page documents includes incentives:

The contract could be worth up to $1.42 billion, depending on whether the construction team can hit certain bonuses in the contract for things such as completing the tunnel ahead of schedule and successfully protecting downtown buildings from damage during construction.

STP's Manuel Pardo told the PI the firm understands the taxpayers' desire for accountability on the massive project. 

"We will deliver the project on time and on budget."

Construction may begin later this year, but must first be given the go ahead by the federal government.

 

Opposition to tunnel marks milestone

The group Seattle Citizens Against the Tunnel announced Thursday they have collected the necessary number of voter signatures for Initiative 101. It would block the use of city property to construct the tunnel. 

If the signatures are validated, I-101 could be placed before Seattle voters in May.