No, the tunnel isn’t leaking: Fan sensor malfunction causes water in Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Tuesday

Virginia News

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Some drivers traveling through the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Tuesday afternoon may have been concerned to see water coming down from the ceiling of the westbound tunnel.

It’s no cause for alarm, however.

“We are aware that some motorists may have experienced water hitting their windshield when exiting the westbound HRBT tunnel just after 2 p.m. today,” a Virginia Department of Transportation official wrote in an email.

VDOT officials say a sensor malfunctioned on the tunnel’s upper air duct system and caused the issue. Because of the malfunction, the system believed a ventilation fan in the tunnel had overheated and activated the sprinkler system, which is used to cool those fans.

“The maintenance staff secured the system quickly but some water did run down the walls inside the tube for 2-4 minutes. The system has been reset and there is no damage or safety concerns to the traveling public,” VDOT officials said.

So, no, that water dripping into the tunnel wasn’t from the Chesapeake Bay, nor was it due to a structural issue.

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