UPDATE: Seattle Tunneling Partners is declared the apparent winning bidder (the final decision will certified in January). The conglomerate earned 71,577,000 technical points and a bid of $1,089,702,000. In contract, Seattle Tunneling Group won only 38,152,000 points and submitted a bid of $1,088,202,000. Project director Ron Paananen says that, among the factors that gave STP the advantage include a three-month shorter timeline and a narrower southern portal.

Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project director ROn PaanAt 1:00 p.m. in Union Station, Governor Chris Gregoire and cadre of state highway officials will disclose the bids for a $1.09 billion contract on the deep-bore tunnel and announce the winning construction team. The bidders—Seattle Tunnel Partners and Seattle Tunneling Group—are both conglomerates of tunneling, construction, and engineering firms that submitted proposals at or under budget in October. But details have been under wraps until today. The tunnel is considered the most technically challenging (it's the widest deep-bore tunnel ever attempted) and riskiest component of the $4.2 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project.

The bids themselves will reportedly be revealed—Academy Awards style—with the opening of envelopes, a video of some sort, and then the big announcement. Use the internet to watch it live here:

Contracts will be awarded using a technical credit system, allowing up to 100 million possible for each of the two remaining bid teams. Gregoire will almost certainly use the opportunity to make that case that the well-scrutinized construction proposals show the tunnel is financially sound—despite the state giving away more than half of a $415 million contingency fund to bidders—and technicality feasible within confines of the total project budget.

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