Midtown Tunnel to close overnight for emergency drain work

Image courtesy VDOT traffic cameras
Image courtesy VDOT traffic cameras

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Elizabeth River Tunnels has reopened one lane of the Midtown Tunnel after closing it for emergency maintenance after recent storms created drain problems.

The tunnel was closed for a few hours Thursday afternoon after ERT issued an alert stating that water from heavy rain was causing unsafe driving conditions inside the tube. Traffic was rerouted to the Downtown Tunnel.

The Midtown Tunnel reopened early Thursday evening, but ERT said one lane would be closed overnight so crews can work on the drain system. The tunnel was closed from 8 p.m. Thursday through 5 a.m. Friday. Traffic alternated in each direction in the remaining open lane.

According to a news release from ERT, the tunnel’s drains are cleaned on a monthly basis and were set to be cleaned at the end of the month. ERT said excess sediment has accumulated due to Hurricane Arthur and strong storms on both Wednesday and Thursday, and crews need to perform emergency maintenance of the drain system.

The Downtown Tunnel westbound overnight closure that was scheduled for Thursday night was cancelled to allow for an alternate route.

In other sections of Norfolk, underpasses were also closed Thursday due to flooding.

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