SEATTLE -

A report from the governor's expert review panel says the stalled Highway 99 tunnel under downtown Seattle could be late but still meet its budget.

The Seattle Times reports the 43-page document released Thursday predicts the four-lane tube will be completed in the first half of 2016 and open by mid-November. The experts expect costs won't overrun the overall $3.1 billion for the project to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The report warns that strained relations between the state Transportation Department and the contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, could be a problem.

The department's administrator for the project, Todd Trepanier, told reporters in a conference call Thursday afternoon that they had open lines of communication, although there were difficult issues.

The department hopes to hear Friday when tunneling will resume.