Senator Curtis King (R-Yakima), Kill-Bertha bill-killer.
  • Washington State Legislature
  • Senator Curtis King (R-Yakima), Kill-Bertha-bill-killer. Rawr!

To recap: On Monday, two Republican state senators, Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) and Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) floated a bill that would mandate the Bertha tunnel's demise. Today, that bill got kicked over to the Senate transportation committee. And now the chair of that committee, Republican Senator Curtis King of Yakima, says that the "Kill-Bertha" bill won't even get a hearing.

King has effectively killed the bill. (No, the Tarantino reference never gets old.) Here's the senator on why he's not supporting his caucus-mates in the plot to murder Bertha:

"While I understand my colleagues’ concerns regarding the Seattle tunnel project, a bill to shut down a project of this size is not realistic. Those of us in transportation leadership in the Legislature have been kept in the loop and received regular updates from the Washington State Department of Transportation and Seattle Tunnel Partners regarding their strategy for getting ‘Bertha’ moving. We haven’t always liked what we heard, but we have been well-informed."

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King's statement also mentioned that Bertha's rescue pit workers are six feet away from reaching her, and that he has concerns that leaving her in the ground could create negative environmental repercussions. But King held firm about never letting a Kill-Bertha bill through his transportation committee. "The bill to end the tunnel project has been referred to my committee, and it will not receive a hearing or move forward," the senator added in his statement.

And thus concludes that one time when hardcore Seattle transit advocates and hardcore Senate Republicans actually shared a point of view. Politically, Bertha remains alive. Physically, she's still six-feet-under.

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