This 2017 photo shows Highway 99 under construction. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, file)

This 2017 photo shows Highway 99 under construction. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, file)

Judge calls for sanctions against Seattle Tunnel Partners

The contractors lost pipe fragments and boulders that were evidence in a lawsuit agains the state.

SEATTLE — A judge has called for sanctions against contractors of a Seattle tunnel project for losing evidence in a $624 million cost-overrun lawsuit against Washington state.

The Seattle Times reports Judge Carol Murphy wrote in a ruling Monday that Seattle Tunnel Partners “consciously disregarded the importance” of the lost six pipe fragments and two granite boulders.

Seattle Tunnel Partners blamed the state Department of Transportation for the buried steel pipe that broke down the machine used to dig the new Highway 99 tunnel.

Tunnel partner Tutor-Perini of California didn’t respond to the newspaper’s phone and email messages Monday.

The department said it was pleased with the ruling, but declined further comment because the litigation is still active.

The sanctions against the tunnel partners have not yet been determined.

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