Transportation

One section of Bertha's front body now sits on the ground near the rescue pit.
AP Photo/Ted Warren

A 270-ton section of Bertha’s front body now lies on the ground in downtown Seattle, ready for workers to add steel reinforcing. The Seattle Tunnel Partners hopes to lay the tunnel borer's cutter head nearby in a couple of weeks. 

They’ll be repaired so workers can complete the tunnel that’s replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct. KUOW’s Joshua McNichols went to Pioneer Square to see how people are feeling about Bertha these days.

An example of a "sharrow," a painted icon intended to point the way for bikers on shared roads.
Flickr Photo/Ann and Tim (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Seattleites have many travel options, but sometimes those options clash.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray hopes to change that with a $900 million transportation levy being floated to voters this fall. Murray says his plan, called Move Seattle, would not perpetuate what he calls the mode wars.

Work lights shined above the bustling site of the SR 520 Pontoon Construction Project during the first float-out on July 30, 2012.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Washington state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson about recent accidents at the sites of state transportation projects.

A large highway sign lies across the median on state Route 520 after a construction crane knocked it down. The sign struck a bus, injuring several people.
Sonny Behrends

Eight people were injured late Tuesday night when a construction crane knocked down a large highway sign on state Route 520, sending it crashing onto a bus, authorities said.

The injuries were minor but all eight people were taken to hospitals, the Seattle Fire Department said on Twitter.

The Washington State Patrol said the crane dropped a large steel pipe that bounced off the bus and hit the overhead traffic sign, causing it to fall onto the bus too. The incident occurred about 10:20 p.m. just east of Lake Washington Boulevard and blocked all lanes.

If you ride a bicycle or motorcycle, this has no doubt happened to you: You stop at a red light controlled by a sensor in the pavement and you wait... and wait.

Several high mountain passes in the Northwest are set to have historically-early openings this year due to low snowpack.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When the Capitol Hill and University link light rail stations open up in about a year, it will change how many people get around Seattle. Something else is changing too: the way King County Metro organizes its bus routes. It’s considering two very different strategies. At a series of open houses this month, it’s asking the public for feedback.

KUOW’s Joshua McNichols has more.

Picture yourself standing at a bus station in Nairobi, Kenya. The unwritten rule is that none of these minibuses (shared taxis, called matatus) will leave until they have enough passengers. That can be around 20 or more people. So every matatu has a tout shouting at top volume — even banging on the side of the bus — to corral more customers.

All of a sudden, what looks like a discotheque on wheels pulls up.

The United Steelworkers union and major oil refiners have reached a tentative contract settlement.

Flickr Photo/Oran Viriyincy (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about his 10-year transportation plan

Marcie Sillman talks to Vaughn Palmer, columnist for the Vancouver Sun, about a vote in Vancouver, B.C., on a tax increase to fund a $7.5 billion transportation package.

A group of Republican lawmakers in Idaho is offering a plan they say could raise up to $81 million for road and bridge repairs by next year.

Workers stand on the reddish-gray surface of Bertha.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bertha the drill should be back at work on the tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct by August. There’s still some unstable soil left to drill through.

Officials will be watching Pioneer Square for patches of settling. After that, the ground becomes more firm, and project managers predict smooth drilling at the maximum rate of 65 feet per day.

Rainier Avenue street Seattle
Flickr Photo/Matthew Rutledge (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Phyllis Porter, outreach coordinator and events specialist at Rainier Valley Greenways Project, about the Seattle Department of Transportation's plan to improve traffic safety on Rainier Avenue.

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