SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington State Department of Transportation says it expects to lose $78 million because the machine digging the tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle broke down.

The Seattle Times reports  that state officials cited the figure in a letter to insurers. The $78 million cost reflects extra spending on administrators, engineers, consulting firms and office space as a two-year delay because of continuing problems with the tunnel-boring machine, known as Bertha.

More money may also be needed to demolish the Alaskan Way Viaduct and build a new waterfront roadway, which can’t happen until after the Highway 99 tunnel opens. That is now scheduled for March 2018. The four-lane tolled tunnel was supposed to open to traffic at the end of 2015.

The state transportation department hopes to be reimbursed by insurance companies.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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