Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson last May, when Berthas cutter head was being lowered into the ground.
  • Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson in happier times—last May, when Bertha's big head was being lowered into the ground.
Oh, boy, it's time for another episode of Today in Tunnel News™! Where we learn anew each day just what fresh horrors the state has to offer us! What happened today?

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Washington State Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson went on Dori Monson's KIRO radio show and admitted that the 99 tunnel project might never actually get finished. Sure, that's just a "small possibility," Peterson said, but she wants to "make sure that everybody understands that it's a possibility."

Here's how that admission came about. Monson asked Peterson if "there's a 100 percent chance that this tunnel project gets completed," to which Peterson answered, "You know what? No." She said WSDOT would "remain skeptical until we get more information, because we still have incomplete information from our contractor." Monson asked what it would take to shut down the project. Peterson's answer: "The fact that the machine is not actually going to be fixable." Is that a possibility, asked Monson? To which Peterson replied, "I'd say it's a small possibility. But we want to make sure that everybody understands that it's a possibility."

So, everybody: Now you understand that there's a possibility that Bertha is not fixable and the whole project is completely fucked. Feel better now?

Some other truly amazing quotes from that interview:

"We have a project that is almost all complete, minus the tunnel."

"I have actually never said to you that I can predict the future and that we won't have cost overruns."

"The viaduct, at this point, is not dangerous to drive on."

"There is a high probability that if there was an earthquake that it would fall down... But if it was dangerous for people to drive on, we would shut it down."

"The only case the taxpayers would be paying for a cost overrun is if we go through our contingency money, and we have not done that yet.

I'd say "Unbelievable!" But... all this shit is totally believable. Even, you might say, predictable.

In related news: I JUST LISTENED TO DORI MONSON FOR YOU GUYS. Somebody buy me a drink.