April 2014
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Boondoggle Interruptus

Bertha Under Seattle

This has been a thing for about a week now, but it looks like it may be a bigger deal than I had at first assumed.

Bertha, the large machine digging the multi-billion dollar tunnel under Downtown Seattle, has hit an “obstacle”.

What kind of “obstacle”?

Well, nobody knows. At least not yet.

This is a pretty big deal, because Bertha cannot just back out of the hole. If the “obstacle” cannot be cleared, the machine just gets abandoned underground indefinitely, or it must be disassembled and brought out in pieces.

Now look, I’ve been a huge opponent of this project for a long time, so it would be fairly easy for me to say “I told you so.” There would be little point, though. You can fool the dog into thinking you threw the ball five, probably six times in a row before it catches on, and if the referendum were held again today, we’d have the same outcome.

This being the case, I’d just as soon the project succeed and come in under budget. Right or wrong, I take no joy in my hometown getting fucked.

I was pretty sure that cost-overruns would happen, but not even I thought they would happen so early in the process. The machine is only under Main Street for crying out loud. It hasn’t even made it to Downtown yet.

Looking on the bright side, however, even if the obstacle cannot be cleared, all is not lost. Given the semi-tunnel’s location between SoDo and Main Street, we now have the infrastructure in place for the largest homeless cave the world has ever seen.

Life is a series of small victories.

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