Tunnel workers worry about driver safety

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A car crashed inside the Downtown Tunnel overnight and workers were so worried, they came to 10 On Your Side.

The crash happened just before 1 a.m. Friday in the westbound tube of the tunnel. Workers say the car was trying to pass another car when it came into the lane they were working in and slammed into one of their trucks. The workers claimed the driver was going about 70 miles per hour.

Photo courtesy Martin Byrne
Photo courtesy Martin Byrne

No workers were on the road behind the truck at the time of the crash.

They came to 10 On Your Side because they see drivers taking chances like that all the time.

“We’re just trying to make a living and we want to go home,” Martin Byne told WAVY.com. “I [have] nobody else to take care of my son but me. I know it’s an inconvenience, but give us a break, we’re just trying to make a living and the work needs to get done.”

Elizabeth River Crossings contracts the crew, and says during the past 600 days of work, no workers have been injured to the point of having to miss a day of work.

“No one was injured thankfully last night,” said spokeswoman Leila Rice. “We do take that very seriously and we’ll continue to do everything we can on our side to maintain the safety of our employees and those traveling.”

Rice said ERT has daily safety briefings for workers, but motorists play a big role in keeping their employees safe too.

“We ask motorists to stay alert, pay attention to the work zone, reduce your speed. We reduce speed to 25 mph in the work zone, and that’s to maintain safety,” she said. “Those variable message signs also tell motorists well ahead of the lane closure the lane is closed.”

And there are state troopers on each work site.  State Police are investigating the crash.

The driver was taken to the hospital.  No word has been released on the driver’s condition.

Stay with WAVY.com for more on this developing story.

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