Another delay for troubled Seattle tunnel project

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Seattle's broken down tunnel boring machine won't resume digging a replacement for Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct until late December, a month later than officials initially said the delayed work would restart.

The Washington State Transportation Department said Thursday the machine, known as Bertha, would proceed again on Dec. 23. The latest delay would push back the opening date for the $3.1 billion downtown tunnel replacement project to April 2018. The four-lane toll tunnel was supposed to open to traffic at the end of 2015.

Bertha broke down in December 2013, and crews have been struggling to repair it ever since.

The tunnel was designed to replace the downtown Alaskan Way Viaduct after it was damaged in a 2001 earthquake.