Photo: Ben Brooks
It's weird. All of the politicians behind the Seattle Tunnel project told us that everything would go smoothly. Who would have thought they'd be wrong about that?
Of course, you already know about the pipe blocking Bertha that everyone should have known about to begin with. With one blockage already dealt with, now the project has to explain a blockage of a different kind. Namely, the reason why so few minorities and women are working on the project.
The big companies building the Highway 99 tunnel violated their contract by creating barriers to minority- and women-owned small businesses, a state review says. Payments to Seattle Tunnel Partners could be reduced or withheld unless the firms demonstrate progress toward an 8 percent hiring goal for what are called disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs).
According to Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson, contractors are already finding ways to meet criteria in upcoming jobs and trucking work.
The Seattle Times article notes that the project has now been delayed three times, though DOT engineers still say they'll be able to meet the deadline of opening the tunnel in December 2015. At least until the next mishap...
· State: Too few minorities, women on tunnel project [Seattle Times]
· The Eight Best Quotes About Bertha Being Blocked By A Pipe [Curbed Seattle]
· All Bertha coverage [Curbed Seattle]