Highway 99 tunnel-machine update: State says, stay stopped
Two weeks after WSDOT told its Highway 99 tunnel contractor to stop digging, it’s still not ready to give the green light for digging to resume, according to this update late today:
Last week, Seattle Tunnel Partners submitted their analysis of recent incidents on the SR 99 Tunnel Project. WSDOT and their tunnel experts determined STP’s analysis did not sufficiently address the cause of these incidents or specify how they would prevent them from occurring in the future.
(WSDOT graphic from January 13th)
WSDOT has notified the contractor that in order to lift the suspension for cause, STP must confirm that:
· The tunneling machine is operating as intended and meets the design-build contract’s technical requirements.
· All necessary training for staff on the tunneling machine is complete.
· The tunneling work plan is updated to address the issues that led to the sinkhole.
· Processes are in place to ensure STP’s tunneling work plan is followed.
· STP updates its quality program to ensure key quality program managers are involved in all tunneling activities.
It is STP’s responsibility to determine how to address these issues and ensure they are in compliance with the technical requirements of the contract. This section of the tunnel drive was designed to be a test section for operation of the tunneling machine. With approximately 250 feet of tunneling prior to reaching the next planned maintenance stop, demonstration of these steps is critical.
JANUARY 28, 2016