Some people ain't no damn good
You can't trust 'em,
you can't love em
No good deed goes unpunished

"The Alaskan Way Viaduct and nearby soil have sunk 1.2 inches this fall alongside stranded tunnel machine Bertha, senior state engineers said Friday afternoon. The settling shows that the tunnel team is having trouble controlling the soil, crucial to protecting downtown as the Highway 99 tunnel project attempts to move ahead."

Q13 back in February 2014:…

“Originally they said the viaduct has settled 6 inches in the last 15 years,” he said. “And we were told it could go another inch before it would be too dangerous to be on.”

So he said there could be major problems if it sinks just 6/10th of an inch more.

So is this why they suddenly changed this weekend's shutdown from one way to both ways?
Mike was right.
That Phew + question mark is so darkly humorous. If only intonation and facial expression could be heard/shown.
Of course it has. Soon the toxic gas will start to leak...
Downtown up to Fifth Avenue will start to slide into the Sound.
Shut it Down!

Any questions?
Friday afternoon news dump. Couldn't get anymore classic.

These scumbags are have taken us for the ride of our lives.

So far they haven't even crossed under the viaduct into the area were buildings will over the tunnel.... I sure hope the buildings don't mind a little bit more sinking.
Dominic's article, both in retrospect and in general, is awesome.
I'm just glad it hasn't hit the vein of blight gas which starts the Clockwork Century storyline yet.
Did you all read the comments in the linked Seattle Times article? The one by "Fathom it"? Here it is:


Fathom It 3 hours ago

Notice how the Times again fails to reference the engineering firm behind this fiasco?

Since the late 1980's Parsons Brinckerhoff has been behind every grandiose megaproject in this region. That firm is responsible for convincing the government heads around here to launch all the megaprojects they've begun over the past quarter-century, including this “stuck Bertha” project:

For the past 10 years, Parsons Brinckerhoff has served as general engineering consultant assisting the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) in developing alternatives to replace the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct, which runs 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) along the city's waterfront, serving 110,000 vehicles each day. The firm has been involved in virtually every aspect of the $3.1 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement program, including conceptual design of a 2.7-kilometer (1.7-mile) tunnel to replace the viaduct.…

Jared Smith and Rob Fellows are two of the individuals who have been moving back and forth between WSDOT, PB, King County, and Seattle. That's the "consistency" in transportation and transit megaproject planning around here.

Fellows now is at WSDOT. His LinkedIn account shows how he was at Metro and PB as well.

Right after he took office, Ed Murray hired Jared Smith from Parsons Brinckerhoff as a full-time employee ($160K/yr) to advise him on the waterfront projects. Smith was Murray's Waterfront and Seawall adviser. He was the head of Northwest operations for PB, and its lead adviser to WSDOT. He should do some work for the public now (Murray hired him at $160,000 per year – let's get some value out of the guy). Murray wants PB guys REALLY close. What did Smith recommend Murray do? Ignore this issue, and play stupid about Sound Transit.

Oh, and Smith was working for the city as Paul Schell's point man for Sound Transit in the late 1990's, pushing that debacle of a megaproject:…

That was in the late 1990's. The budget then for the light rail tunnel 4.5 miles from downtown to 45th Avenue in the University district was $557 million. Now the budget for just the 3.2 mile tunnel from downtown to Husky stadium is $1.9 billion, and it's another $2.1 billion from there to Northgate.

Smith was the Futurewise board member Sound Transit sponsored:…

Of course Smith and Fellows would not think of providing their bosses (let alone the public) straight answers about PB's bad acts and omissions on these failed megaprojects, who is responsible for problems, excess costs, or anything else of significance.

Paula Hammond gave the green light to this SR-99 tunneling project when she was the head of WSDOT. As soon as Gregoire left office Hammond was hired by Parsons Brinckerhoff, and she now works out of its Seattle office. Hammond did not get that fat job because she had spent her time at WSDOT looking out for the public's interest.

Parsons Brinckerhoff also is in charge of the engineering WSDOT plans on relying on for converting the I-90 floating bridge across Lake Washington to a “part-highway part-railway” structure for Sound Transit. Go ahead – try figuring out how that process is going. Hint: you can't. WSDOT won't discuss it, and has not adequately monitored the engineering work to date on the unprecedented rail trackbed system, or the plans to rip up the roadway and sink electrical system pylon supports into the hollow-box concrete pontoons.

PB produced all the studies and financial analyses that the democrats used as the justification for launching in to these megaprojects, which are the reasons the state and local governments to pay PB hundreds of millions of dollars in consulting/engineering fees “for transportation and transit”.

All the democrats in charge LOVE PB, precisely because its self-interested studies and reports provide cover for the democrats' grandiose bond selling plans. Democrats here are hooked on selling bonds -- it gives them piles of cash to dole out to their base.

Might as well name the names of those responsible, right?

What do the democrats have to say? "It's the voters' fault." Victim-blaming is a huge part of the PR efforts in Seattle.
@12. Holy fuck. Give that guy a goddamn pulitzer.
Yeah, um, re: @12, can we get a reporter to maybe look into this Fathom It fellow's assertions?
i told anybody who'd listen, "don't try to tunnel under Seattle, you'll end up wasting millions and millions of dollars and end up with nothing but people laughing at you." but does anybody listen? no. normally I'd say, 'you go take your damn tunneling machine and stick it up your butt', but they'd mess that up too, probably stick it in their eye or something.
What they aren't telling you is that the warp core on Bertha is unstable and isn't going to hold containment much longer!!!

Don't worry. A small one-man fighter should be able to penetrate the outer defense. A precise hit will start a chain reaction which should destroy it. Only a precise hit will set off a chain reaction.
I'm glad I'm not the only one saying I told you so. Also 12 that's a great article.
No worries - the German Coast Guard is on it.…
it will probably still work out.

engineers put a man on the moon 40 years ago - this is easier. unneccessary (except to WSDOT and the Port - where is the freight traffic going on 99 Nbound anyway? Canada?), but easier.

what happened to seattle's can-do attitude?
@20, it's unfortunately forced to think about what things cost.
@17: But, the target is only two meters wide. It is impossible, even for a computer.

@21: in for a penny, in for a pound. olympia isn't pulling the plug anytime soon.

Your strategy might work when it comes time to destroy Jeff Bezo's soon-to-be-operational battle station in SLU, but the emergency @16 describes can only be solved by reversing Bertha's warp core gravitonic flux matrix. In order to do that, we need to surround it with a tetryon field, which means rerouting pre-ignition plasma from the impulse coils through the EPS conduits to the deflector array and then generating a focused beam of anti-chroniton particles. That should do the trick.
@23, they never will. Correct.

It's not impossible. We used to throw pebbles at the neighbor's tire swing from our treehouse back home. And it wasn't more than two meters.

What are you doing sitting there on the floor? You'll catch a cold.
@22- Luke- "I used to bullseye womprats in my t16 back home. They aren't much bigger than two meters."

Wedge- "Womprats are sentient beings. What the hell is wrong with you? Holy shit. My college roommate was a womprat!"
@12 If I remember correctly, our very liberal mayor was against the tunnel as were many very outspoken liberals. Consequently, I find it hard to believe that these projects are an attempt to appease the "base".

Tunnels are totally geotechnically feasible in Seattle. The soils in Seattle are at places not challenging, and at other places very challenging. The waterfront is a challenging area, and more than that, this project is very large and uses very new technologies. Im a geotechnical student, and I have been against this tunnel from the beginning. But not for simply geotechnical reasons, there are just too many risk factors and not enough pay off for me.

For example, it wasn't the site soil that caused the machine to break. It was either an assembly error, operator error, or just murphy's law.
No urban environment is ideal for monorail. Elevated rail is fine, but monorail has certain major drawbacks, and the only bonus is that it can handle steeper grade. The drawbacks are pretty big, like terrible switching systems that take up way too much room. It would be really hard to roll out as a complete system.
@31: liberals are not the Democratic base.
I told 'em so... I told 'em.. "Don't dig the tunnel, you guys..", I said. But did they listen to me? No.

But Max above is correct: We'll just have to watch this disaster unfold in slow motion; they're not gonna pull the plug$ on this tunnel now. Too committed.

People who live above the tunnel route --or at least where it is currently-- might be wise to sell & get out now. Why risk significant ground subsidence? There's zero you can do about it otherwise, and no reason to think it will cease.
So....1.2 inches is a lot? Huh.
when was the last earthquake?
Hey, it took it a whole year after I stopped for the settling to occur. Can't be my fault. Just can't.
for as great and sometimes progressive as we can be sometimes, i have NEVER, EVER, EVER seen a city just so completely and royally fuck up public transportation and road development on such a grand scale. I mean, really, we have sunk to new lows.

get it? ba BING!!!!!

seriously, though, this is embarrassing. we can legalize marijuana, but we can't develop a comprehensive and workable public transportation and roadway system? un fucking believable...

Please wait...

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