The Washington State Dept. of Transportation has extended completion of the $1-billion Highway 99 bored tunnel under Seattle to November 2016. Three international teams are vying to build the 56-ft-wide tunnel that will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. WsDOT will offer technical credits for proposals that set a completion date earlier than 2016. The project will require the world’s largest-diameter boring machine, with drilling to take 13 months.
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.