The face of Bertha, in happier times.
  • The face of Bertha, in happier times.

So now that Bertha has stopped, gone four feet, and then stopped again, it's really time for you to re-read the story that Dominic Holden published in The Stranger about this project nearly four years ago. The story is titled "What Could Possibly Go Wrong," and it explains, step-by-step, all the problems with building a waterfront tunnel of the size that Seattle is attempting right now. Dominic begins by calling bullshit on the claims that everything related to the tunnel would be hunky-dory:

The governor and the city council's leadership insist there won't be errors, that there won't be cost overruns, that nothing could possibly go wrong.

They're lying to you, Seattle.

Then he listed a bunch of potential problems with the project, including the fact that the tunnel-boring machine might get stuck, that our plan to deal with a broken machine was insufficient, and that the money lined up to deal with the project was inadequate.

Look: We're not bragging about this. We're not happy to see the tunnel machine fail and fail again. But we are saying that the people of Seattle didn't understand the risks and realities of this project, mainly because people in power weren't telling us the truth about it. Dominic Holden did the research and wrote the definitive report on what could happen with this project. If the city had listened to him back then, we might not be in this mess right now. But now that we're in the mess, it's time for the city to take part in an honest examination of the situation.