December 8, 2014
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Bertha repair effort causing viaduct to sink

A year after the deep-bore tunnel drilling machine was stopped underneath downtown Seattle, there is a new complication and delay in the effort to dig an enormous pit to access and repair the machine known as Bertha.

Crews will stop pumping groundwater from the soil around the rescue pit after the discovery that the nearby Alaskan Way Viaduct is sinking unevenly, which could lead to damage. So far, WSDOT said, there are no signs of damage to the elevated highway, meaning it remains safe and open for drivers.

Pumping of groundwater is a vital part of excavating the access pit, which will go down 120 feet so a crane can lift the front cutter from Bertha and bring it to the surface for repairs.

The news comes after WSDOT had already suggested that the projected date of March 2015 to restart the machine would likely be delayed.

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New 'business-blue' coalition focuses on protecting Washington's trade status

By Eric Schinfeld, Washington Council on International Trade

As an advocate for international trade, I'm fortunate to work with some of the most innovative global brands in America today, witnessing companies whose efforts both distinguish them across the globe and also bring jobs and prosperity back to America's middle class. Last week, following our annual Washington Trade Conference, I introduced a panel discussion convened by partners from Keep Washington Competitive, a new coalition of business and labor leaders.

READ MORE: Click here for the full op-ed column in the Puget Sound Business Journal

Opinion: Gov. Inslee and Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce should carefully consider climate policy

By Mike Elliott, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

The low-carbon fuel standard the governor is considering by way of executive order could raise prices at the pump anywhere from 13 cents a gallon to $1.50. I'm told the purpose of the fuel standard is to encourage sustainable fuel production and use, with the ultimate goal being a reduction in carbon emissions (largely from cars and trucks operating on our roadways).

When considering climate change on a global scale, few would dispute the need to seek reductions in carbon emissions. But without a thorough understanding of potential impacts on fuel prices and, ultimately, jobs connected to transportation costs, further study of the fuel standard as a means of achieving reduced carbon emissions is warranted. While I'm all for lower carbon, cleaner fuels and better efficiency in our cars, trucks, industrial processes and lives, I cannot support taking action without knowing for certain we're not sending jobs out of the state or, worse, overseas where few standards, if any, exist.

READ MORE: Click here for the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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