OLYMPIA, Wash. -

 A leading Republican in the state Senate says Seattle taxpayers should foot the bill for any potential cost overruns on the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project.

The machine digging a tunnel to replace the elevated highway along Seattle's waterfront has been stuck for more than a month, raising concerns that more funds will be needed for that $1.4 billion project.

At an Associated Press legislative forum Thursday, Sen. Mark Schoesler said it would be difficult to convince people in other areas of the state to help pay more for the tunnel.  In 2009, the Legislature approved the tunnel replacement. However they included a provision in the law requiring Seattle to pay for any cost overruns.

"The law is the law," Schoesler said. 

Legal experts have said enforcing that requirement would be difficult.