WSDOT

Radke In The Morning
9:44 am
Tue July 22, 2014

How To Merge In Traffic (Seattle, You're Not Going To Like This)

The Interstate 90 backup early Tuesday morning: one scenario where being polite gets you nowhere.
Credit Courtesy of WSDOT

Seattle area traffic jams are nothing new, but this week has been particularly trying with the construction on westbound I-90 closing all but one lane in Bellevue.

It might seem selfish, but the best way to ease congestion, according to Washington State Department of Transportation's Travis Phelps, is to drive right up to the closure before merging over.

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Week In Review
2:56 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Bus Cuts Coming, Tunnel Digging Delayed, And Minimum Wage Talks Continue

State transportation officials say the tunnel machine now stuck beneath the downtown Seattle waterfront won't resume tunneling until March 2015.
Credit Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher recaps the news of the week with Crosscut's Knute Berger, news analyst Joni Balter, The Stranger's Eli Sanders and LiveWire host Luke Burbank.

Alaskan Way Viaduct
2:46 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

First Stuck, Now Broken: What's Wrong With Bertha?

Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation

Marcie Sillman talks with state transportation secretary Lynn Peterson about Bertha's latest condition and plans to get the world’s biggest tunnel boring machine moving again.

Alaskan Way Viaduct
2:36 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Mayor Murray On Bertha: ‘I Don’t Think We Should Get Involved In Finger-Pointing’

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Ross Reynolds talks with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about Bertha's continuing woes and who would ultimately be on the hook for cost overruns.

Alaskan Way Viaduct
2:55 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Why Isn't Bertha Moving?

Bertha, the world’s biggest tunnel boring machine, has been stuck under Seattle since Dec. 6, 2013.
Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation

David Hyde talks with Mike Lindblom, Seattle Times transportation reporter, about why Bertha hasn't  moved since December.

Bertha is the world’s biggest tunnel boring machine that has been charged with digging out the replacement path for the Alaskan Way Viaduct under Seattle.

Alaskan Way Viaduct
5:32 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Still No Answers For Stuck Bertha

Washington Department of Transportation's Matt Preedy points out the new roadway that will lead into the tunnel.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

So far, crews trying to determine what’s stalling the State Route 99 tunnel machine have found a hard object more than three feet wide lodged in it.

They’ve also found metal and plastic piping. But what exactly is causing the stoppage is still unknown.

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
4:34 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

What's In A Name? Apparently, Forgiveness For Bertha

Bertha, the world’s biggest tunnel boring machine, has been stuck under Seattle since Dec. 6, 2013.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT

She loves dirt and hates sunlight. Seattle Magazine named her one of 2013’s most influential people, except she’s not really a person. She’s Bertha, the world’s biggest tunnel boring machine, charged with digging out the replacement path for the Alaskan Way Viaduct under Seattle.

Her profile on the Washington State Department of Transportation site lists her occupation as a tunneling specialist, but right now she’s stuck and has been since December 6. In light of her current predicament, the decision to name the machine, and thus humanize it, could be a shrewd move.

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The Week In Review
1:45 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Inslee's State Of The State, Legislative Session Kicks Off, And Machinists Union President Retires

Tom Wroblewski, pictured in 2012, has stepped down as president of the local Machinists union. His last day is Jan. 31.
Photo IAM District 751

Washington Governor Jay Inslee pushed for a higher minimum wage and increased education funding during his State of the State Address this week. The state legislature kicked off its 2014 session. Also, Boeing Machinists Union President Tom Wroblewski announced his retirement.

We review these stories and more with news analyst Joni Balter, Crosscut's Knute Berger and The Stranger's Eli Sanders. Plus, we hear from Live Wire host Luke Burbank.

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Week In Review
12:30 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Murray And Sawant Take Office, SPD Shakeup, And 520 Bridge Over Budget

Newly inaugurated Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

The eyes of the nation descended on Seattle city hall this week as Mayor Ed Murray and City Councilmember Kshama Sawant took office. In one of his first acts, the mayor named Harry Bailey Seattle's new interim police chief. Also, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced the 520 bridge project will need a lot more money to get completed.

We review these stories and more with news analyst Joni Balter, The Stranger's Eli Sanders and Crosscut's Knute Berger. Plus, we hear from Live Wire host Luke Burbank.

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Transportation
12:30 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

New Proposal: Highway 99 Tolls Could Be $1.00

Flickr Photo/WSDOT

A new tolling proposal would ask drivers to pay as little as $1.00 for taking the Highway 99 tunnel under downtown Seattle. During morning and evening commutes, rates would jump to $1.25. A state advisory committee is hoping the proposal will strike a balance between tolling revenues and potential traffic diversion.

Two years ago, when the tunnel plan was approved by voters, the proposed tolling rates were as high as $3.00 during peak hours. Under that plan, traffic planners were concerned that high tolling rates would divert too many cars onto downtown streets. Maud Daudon is co-chair of the Advisory Committee on Tolling and Traffic Management. She's also president and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. She talked with Ross Reynolds.

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World's Longest Floating Bridge
1:30 am
Tue August 27, 2013

SR 520 Floating Bridge Celebrates 50 Years

Construction of the SR 520 floating bridge.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT

August 28, 1963 was a momentous day in American history, and it was also a pretty big day in Seattle. At the same time that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was giving his landmark “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, then-Washington governor Albert Rosellini was also addressing a crowd. But Rosellini was in the middle of Lake Washington, on a brand-new floating bridge that would eventually be known as State Route 520.

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Transportation
10:28 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Checking In With The Head Of WSDOT

Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson.
Courtesy of WSDOT

Costs continue to run over for the 520 bridge project. The Washington state Legislature failed to pass a transportation package in June, and last week, the state Transportation Commission voted to increase ferry fares by 6 percent. Ross Reynolds talks about these and other transportation issues with Washington’s Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson.

Weekend Traffic Closure
11:27 am
Thu July 11, 2013

I-405 And SR-520 Closed This Weekend

Northbound I-405 will be closed this weekend to replace hundreds of broken concrete panels.
Credit WSDOT

State Route 520 and northbound I-405 will be closed this weekend for inspection and repairs. Both directions of SR-520 will be closed between Montlake Boulevard and I-405 from 11:00 p.m. Friday through 5:00 a.m. Monday.

Northbound I-405 from S.E. 8th Street to SR-520 from 10:00 p.m. Friday to 4:00 a.m. Monday. The I-90 ramps to northbound I-405 will also be closed.

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Transportation
11:37 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Meet The New Head Of WSDOT

Lynn Peterson
Photo Courtesy/WSDOT

The new head of the Washington Department of Transportation is exploring alternate funding models for the state's transportation projects, including tolls and fees based on mileage. Lynn Peterson spoke Thursday with The Conversation's Ross Reynolds.

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Transportation
11:55 am
Wed March 6, 2013

An Exit Interview With WSDOT Head Paula Hammond

Washington state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond addresses a news conference of the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Tuesday, July 14, 2009.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

This Friday will be Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond's last day on the job after 30 years with the state department of transportation. Ross Reynolds sits down with Paula Hammond to discuss her work as the head of the department, what it was like to lead an agency of 7,200 employees, the future of Washington transportation and her legacy. 

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