Drilling day arrives for worried owner of Capitol Hill historic building

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by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News

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KING5.com

Posted on March 19, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 19 at 12:58 PM

SEATTLE -- Franklin Tseng owns the Capitol Building at the corner of John Street and Broadway, which was built in 1924.
 
"The building you see is beautiful bricks on the outside," said Tseng.

But on the inside is where you will find the nervous building owner, who is worried about what is scheduled to happen Monday.
 
"It is going to go right underneath here from north to south," said Tseng as he pointed out where a tunnel boring machine will be at work about 40 feet beneath his building, beginning Monday afternoon or early evening.

Sound Transit plans on having a drill work underground to make a path for its new light rail extension.

"We gave Sound Transit the right to go underneath the building, but they should not damage our building," said Tseng. "We are concerned the building is going to crack."

"We feel like we have done everything we can do to protect the building,” said Sound Transit spokesman Bruce Gray.

Gray also pointed out they recently drilled in areas shallower than what they're dealing with at this building.

"We went under I-5 and the Montlake cut without incident, so we feel like we are in good shape with Capitol Hill,” Gray said.

"They say it is going to be safe, a hundred percent safe. In engineering nothing is a hundred percent," said Tseng who is also an engineer.

Drilling under the Capitol Hill building is scheduled Monday afternoon or early evening. It is part of a bigger project to extend light rail service to Capitol Hill by 2016.
 

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