ROADS/BRIDGES: 'Don't panic,' says Alaskan Way Viaduct expert panel about sticking to the $3.1B project budget

April 24, 2015

According to a report by an expert review panel, the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project will meet its budget. 

It has been a challenging year for the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project, but a new report from an expert review panel states improvements have been made.  

The team of experts, brought in by Washington state lawmakers, presented its report of the tunnel replacement project to the Washington State Transportation Committee.

The report highlighted improvements within the administration but also raised looming concerns that still need to be resolved.

Among the positive signs is the budget, which will not need to be increased despite multiple setbacks. 

"Don't panic," said Bob Goodfellow of the Expert Review Panel, because the report states it is possible for the Seattle tunnel boring project to finish within its $3.1 billion budget.

The report also highlighted communication challenges between the Washington Department of Transportation, tunnel contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners and the city of Seattle. According to the document, many of those issues have been resolved.

 However, a decision about tolling remains, the report states.

"There are a lot of decisions about tolling revenue that we've been able to put off," said panelist John Rose. "Our sense is we really shouldn't be putting it off much longer."

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