Downtown Tunnel closures coming next week

Posted at 6:08 PM, Aug 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-02 18:08:22-04

Portsmouth, Va. - It's the sign no Portsmouth driver wants to see, "Downtown Tunnel closed."

"It's gonna make things very difficult as you see the traffic is backed up everywhere so it's going to be difficult," Dangelo Whitehead of Portsmouth said.

Friday August 9th traffic will be shut off westbound starting at 8 pm and going until 5 Monday morning. It won't just be next week, but nearly every weekend until late spring.

"You gone have to take one of those you gone have to take the Jordan Bridge, you either going to take the Midtown Tunnel, but that's gonna be backed up," said Rosalyn Harmon of Portsmouth.

At the Coffee Shoppe on High street, they're finally seeing their weekend business pick up after the Children's Museum across the street picked up. The closure next weekend could cool their business a latte.

"You're going to take a direct line to Portsmouth and shutting it completely down and I think people definitely will respond to that in a negative way and want to find something else to do," said Tom Hicks the Coffee Shoppe owner.

The work is to rehab the tunnel, making it safer and more energy efficient.
Starting Monday, the westbound tube will go down to one lane, every night from 8 until 5 the following morning.

"It's better than having it during normal business hours where who knows it could all get bottled up and cause even more distractions to drivers that are out there," said Tony Diotallevi of Portsmouth.