- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - The new Midtown Tunnel is set to open months ahead of schedule.

Media outlets report that Elizabeth River Tunnels announced Tuesday that the new crossing could open by summer instead of the winter.

The Midtown Tunnel connects Norfolk and Portsmouth. Work began on the project in 2013, and it was set to open in December of this year.

However, construction on the tunnel is now complete. Sometime this summer, the westbound lane of traffic in the existing Midtown Tunnel will shift into one lane of the new tunnel. The exact date of the change isn’t set.

The accelerated opening allows work to be completed in the new tunnel and rehab of the old tunnel to begin sooner than expected.

Rehabilitation of the existing Midtown Tunnel will include replacing missing tiles, repairing concrete and adding more fire-proofing features.

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