Construction is now the fastest-growing industry in Washington state. Construction cranes fill the skyline. Public works projects like light rail lines and the tunnel project snarl our streets. But despite appearances, construction has not yet fully recovered from the 2008 recession.
Correction 8/1/13: A previous version of this story stated that the tunnel contractor had drilled through a power line but missed hitting live wires. In fact, the tunnel contractor drilled through a concrete power vault and it missed hitting the power lines inside.
The world’s largest tunneling machine started grinding into the soil beneath downtown Seattle Tuesday afternoon. The machine known as Bertha is digging a 58-foot-wide tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.