Boeing hopeful on 787
Boeing completed the final 787 test flight today to check its planned solution for the new planes' battery problems. The company clearly expects quick Federal Aviation Administration approval. However, as the Puget Sound Business Journal's Steve Wilhelm has been reporting, it would be strange for the FAA to act before investigative hearings by the National Transportation Safety Board on April 23 and 24. Imagine the public relations mess for the FAA — not to mention Boeing and its airline customers — if some surprise came out of those hearings. And a rush will look unseemly in any case.
Tunneling machine still on ship
The new machine that will bore the waterfront tunnel remained onboard its transport ship today despite a schedule that had called for docking and the start of bringing it ashore. The Washington State Department of Transportation referred vaguely to arrangements being made and — perhaps pointedly — to the contract with a private construction group requiring completion of the new waterfront by December 2015. Is this an early sign of trouble? Probably not.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, WSDOT used its @BerthaDigsSR99 account to tweet: "Looks like I'll be at sea a bit longer. No worries, I'm enjoying the fresh air and great views." Well, they're all over the cute anthropomorphizing of construction equipment.
Court breaks up couple's togetherness
An Eastside husband and wife both received prison terms for identity theft and property crimes, Patch reported today. Police agencies say they engaged in a series of at least 23 crimes spread over Seattle, Bellevue and just about everywhere along I-405, from Renton to Lynnwood. The his and hers sentences aren't quite matching: He (Arne Rosander) will spend 17 months as a guest of the Department of Corrections. She (Crystal Rosander) received an eight-month sentence.
A budget blow to Boeing?
The state Senate schedule called for a vote on the Majority Coalition Caucus budget in a session that appeared ready to begin at mid-afternoon. John Stang is following the action for Crosscut and will write a report. One aspect of the initial budget that was generating heat: elimination of the state's aerospace office. Lots of dropped jaws among business, labor and government leaders who have spent years fighting to keep as much of Boeing's business here as possible. In an email, Puget Sound Regional Council Director Bob Drewel noted that the office had been established just a year ago to help compete with Texas and South Carolina.
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, which continues through the end of the month, begins this weekend. A writer for The News Tribune tells about seeing northwest tulips Dutch style: by bicycle. The story offers a usefully detailed guide to the options, whether you'd like a guided tour, rental or just want to get around on your own. No promises about good weather this weekend, though.
The state Department of Transportation's construction update shows one major project over the weekend: "Crews will close up to three of five lanes on northbound I-5 between South Albro Place and South Spokane Street, from 8 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday. On Saturday and Monday, crews will close up to four lanes between midnight and 4 a.m. to set up and take down concrete barriers."
But there's also a more general one for I-90 construction near Snoqualmie Pass throughout the spring and summer. It begins: "Start planning your trip over Interstate 90 east of Snoqualmie Pass now!" It's never a good sign when WSDOT uses an exclamation point. Details here.
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