No more full weekend closures on Downtown Tunnel, weeknight closures coming

Posted at 11:35 AM, Oct 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-23 19:04:19-04

Portsmouth, Va. - The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has announced plans for an alternative work schedule for completing the work on the I-264 westbound Downtown Tunnel.

It's a balance between the concerns of the city of Portsmouth and the need to get this necessary work accomplished.

According to VDOT, there will be no more full weekend closures as they have been doing previously since August.

Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) came to an agreement with VDOT and the City of Portsmouth to close the tunnel only at night, starting at 8 p.m.

The change comes after Mayor Kenneth Wright complained that businesses were suffering because of the full weekend closures.

The tunnel will now be closed starting at 8 p.m. nightly until 5 a.m. on the weekdays and from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The work originally was scheduled to take place over the course of 25 weekends. However, the contractor has reduced that number to 22. Eight weekends have already been completed, leaving 14 weekends of work left.

Weeknight closures start November 4th. Until then, the tunnel will be closed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during overnight hours only.

Drivers will still need to take the alternate routes during those closures. The Midtown Tunnel, the High Rise Bridge and the South Norfolk Jordan toll bridge will still be your alternate route if you travel during those times from Norfolk to Portsmouth.

VDOT chief deputy commissioner told NewsChannel 3 in a news conference that they overlooked the impact the weekend closures would have on Portsmouth.


Update: Downtown Tunnel WB will not close this weekend, officials looking at possible new schedule