The Washington State Dept. of Transportation has qualified four design-build teams that will vie for a $1-billion contract to construct a deep-bore tunnel replacing the seismically unsound Alaskan Way viaduct in Seattle. The winner will begin work on the four-lane, 2-mile-long double-decker tunnel on state Route 99 after the award in late 2010. + Image A new tunnel (inset) will replace waterfront viaduct. WSDOT on Dec. 18 announced the qualified joint-venture teams: Seattle Tunnel Partners, which includes Dragados USA Inc., Coral Gables, Fla., and HNTB Corp., Kansas City, Mo.; Seattle Tunneling Group, which includes S.A. Healy Co., Lombard, Ill., FCC
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.