Seattle tunnel machine still stalled by mystery blockage

SEATTLE (AP) - The huge machine drilling a highway tunnel under downtown Seattle remains stalled by a mysterious blockage.

A spokeswoman for the state Transportation Department, KaDeena Yerkan, says Thursday we probably won't know anything new until after the first of the year.

Wells have been pumping out water so that workers might be able to identify the obstruction that halted progress on Dec. 7.

The machine called Bertha is about 60 feet under Seattle streets and about one-tenth of the way toward completing a 1.7-mile tunnel. It will carry Highway 99 traffic and allow the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct on the waterfront.