• Insurance companies sue over Bertha's repair

    By: The Associated Press


    SEATTLE - Insurance companies have filed a lawsuit to get off the hook for millions of dollars of repair costs for Seattle's tunnel-boring machine called Bertha.

    The companies filed a lawsuit last week in New York City claiming they shouldn't have to pay the repair bill because the machine's design was flawed from the start.

    The suit says the repair costs now exceed the tunnel machine's original price of $80 million. Repairs are expected to top $143 million.

    The tunnel was designed to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, damaged in a 2001 earthquake. But Bertha broke down soon after drilling began.

    Repairs to the cutter head were completed and it was lowered back into a repair pit this week. The tunnel contractor says drilling should begin again in November.

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