Christine Gregoire

Seattle's big tunnel project reaches a milestone, but it's way behind schedule

Seattle's big tunnel project reaches a milestone, but it's way behind schedule

When the world’s largest drilling machine smashed through a 5-foot-thick concrete barrier, emerging in a cloud of dust from an earthen hole that will become one of the world’s biggest vehicle tunnels, a smattering of cheers floated down from the workers and officials on an observation platform above. One tunnel worker climbed up the machine’s massive drill head and waved a U.S. flag.

But as historic moments go, it wasn’t much of a celebration.

Then again, a band or a parade would have been a jarring incongruity for a 2-mile tunnel project that is four years behind schedule and faces a potential $400 million in cost overruns.

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