- The Washington Times - Friday, July 10, 2009

SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s transportation chief says the July 2 closure of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel’s westbound tube due to flooding was a serious breakdown of the state’s transportation system.

Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner David S. Elkhern says his agency is reviewing the incident and will develop a plan to prevent future incidents.

Preliminary findings released Friday by VDOT show a 52-year-old water main burst and the problem went undetected for eight hours. Underground ducts filled with about 2 million gallons of water that overwhelmed a pumping system intended to removed rainwater.

Water pooled on the road surface and VDOT shut down the westbound tube.

The closure caused massive traffic backups.

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