Officials to inspect Bertha tunnel site after ground settlement detected

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington transportation officials are conducting inspections this weekend around the Alaskan Way Viaduct Tunnel Project after a monitoring system detected some ground settling in the area.

The Washington State Department of Transportation's monitor detected about an inch of settlement near the pit that is being dug so workers can access Bertha, the tunneling machine, for repairs. They also saw about an inch of settlement on the Alaskan Way Viaduct and a little less in the surround area. The settlement likely happened in the last month. That's according to a letter the program administrator sent to the Legislature on Friday.

Todd Trepanier says they have not seen any new damage to the viaduct and says they are confident that there is no risk to public safety.

The new concerns came as the project approached its one-year anniversary of Bertha's breakdown - Dec. 6, 2013.

The Seattle Tunnel Partners told WSDOT that it plans to resume tunneling in April 2015.