Image: Ben Brooks
As the world turns...Bertha certainly doesn't. Seattle has returned to a state of normalcy as Bertha the boring machine is once again standing still (or laying still, as it were) following a suspension of the project by Governor Jay Inslee last month following the discovery of a sinkhole in her wake. We knew that Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) disagreed with the decision but now we know just how strongly they disagreed thanks to King 5, who obtained their official response.
STP's point at this moment is that, even if WSDOT was correct about one or more of the following vaguely worded concerns, which WSDOT is not, these concerns in no way justify a suspension for cause under Contract Section 14.2: • STP sees nothing in Section 14.2 that allows the Governor or WSDOT to suspend the tunneling because STP allegedly lacks "leadership". What "leadership" is WSDOT referring to?
• STP sees nothing in Section 14.2 that a flows the Governor or WSDOT to suspend the tunneling because STP's "management decisions" are allegedly not competent. Which "management decisions" is WSDOT referring to?
• STP sees nothing in Section 14.2 that allows the Governor or WSDOT to suspend the tunneling because STP's "communication" skills are allegedly deficient. What "communication" skills is WSDOT referring to?
• STP sees nothing in Section 14.2 that allows the Governor or WSDOT to suspend the tunneling because there is an alleged "lack of accountability" by STP on the Project. In what regards or respect is WSDOT referring to a "lack of accountability"?
All of these subjective buzzwords are used in an attempt to cover up the fact that the original justification for the suspension, the sinkhole, was baseless.
WSDOT told King 5 that they, of course, disagree with STP on just about everything and that "safety remains WSDOT's top priority."
The undercurrent running throughout all of this is who is going to end up paying for all the delays and costs involved wit the suspension. As you've probably guessed by now, STP thinks WSDOT should pay for it and WSDOT is going to disagree. Regardless of whether or not Bertha ever actually gets finished, the fight to figure out who pays for everything is guaranteed to be a Grade A Shitshow.
· STP to WSDOT: 'The suspension was baseless' [K5]
· Another Reason to Stop, Bertha has Sinkhole for a Neighbor [CS]
· Bertha Repairs Expected To Cost $125M, At Least [CS]