Washington is suing the contractor building the $3.1 billion tunnel replacement project for Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct.
In a statement late Friday afternoon, the Department of Transportation says it filed the lawsuit against Seattle Tunnel Partners in King County Superior Court to preserve its legal rights in what is expected to be messy, future court battles over the troubled tunnel project.
Transportation spokeswoman Laura Newborn says Friday’s legal action was taken following court filings by STP and its insurance companies.
Bertha, the machine building the tunnel, broke down in December 2013 and crews have been struggling to repair it ever since. The four-lane tolled tunnel was supposed to open to traffic at the end of 2015. It is now scheduled for March 2018.
Earlier this week the Department of Transportation said it expected to lose $78 million because Bertha broke down.
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