Pump malfunction forced VDOT to close westbound Downtown Tunnel

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WVEC.com

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Updated Thursday, May 17 at 10:52 AM

NORFOLK -- A pump malfunction during Tuesday morning's downpour forced VDOT to close the Downtown Tunnel during rush hour.

VDOT closed the westbound span around 8:00 a.m. because standing water set off the "high water alarms."

The Portsmouth-side pump system did not engage properly, allowing four inches of rainwater to accumulate, officials said. 

Traffic was detoured to the Midtown Tunnel, the High Rise Bridge and Gilmerton Bridge.

The westbound tube reopened around 9:35 a.m.

The cause of the failure is being investigated.   Hansen says tunnel pump systems are inspected each week and there was no malfunction when the Downtown's system was checked last week.

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