RELEASE:

CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Lauren Hansen 757-925-1660
Lauren.Hansen@vdot.virginia.gob
HRO-48286

Sept. 1, 2010



MIDTOWN TUNNEL TIDE GATE TEST SUCCESSFUL
Staff Remains on Standby for Weather Impacts

HAMPTON ROADS- Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) successfully tested the Route 58 Midtown Tunnel tide gate this evening, Wednesday, Sept. 1, in preparation for potential weather impacts from Hurricane Earl.

 

Tide gate testing involves activating the mechanisms that raise and lower the gate, checking the gate seals, and preparing crews for potential tide gate use.

 

VDOT regularly tests the tide gates at both the Midtown Tunnel and I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) twice a year as a part of its preventative maintenance efforts. Due to the Midtown Tunnel’s lower elevation and proximity to flood prone areas, additional tests are typically performed in preparation for extreme weather conditions. VDOT last tested the Midtown Tunnel and HRBT tide gates in June 2010.

 

The National Weather Service has predicted that tropical storm strength winds associated with Hurricane Earl could impact the Hampton Roads region by late Thursday evening, Sept. 2. Localized flooding may occur in conjunction with high tides.

 

Potential closures at regional tunnel, ferry and bridge facilities are determined when sustained tropical force winds of 39 miles per hour or more are reached in combination with other factors including storm surge, rain bands and actual traffic conditions at each facility, or there is a threat to the facility itself.

 

VDOT is closely monitoring the weather predictions for potential impacts and will make changes to the state emergency response plan as necessary in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM).

 

For more information about VDOT’s hurricane preparedness efforts, visit http://www.readyvirginia.gov/ .

 

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