DC Roads Closed Tuesday – NBC4 Washington

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The 3rd Street Tunnel remained closed Tuesday in Washington, D.C., for a second morning after repairs on a reported sinkhole caused “significant gridlock,” authorities said.

Commuters may want to plan an alternate route: Transit authorities asked drivers to avoid the area.

Southbound lanes of the tunnel remain closed between New York Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue. All northbound lanes are closed, New4’s news partner WTOP reports. 

There’s no access to the northbound 3rd Street Tunnel from the I-395/SW-SE Freeway ramps. Northbound South Capitol Street is open but northbound traffic is diverted onto 2nd Street/Massachusetts Avenue, the Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination (MATOC) Program said.

The following streets are closed until further notice, according to D.C. police:

  • Southbound 3rd Street Tunnel at 4th & NY Ave, NW
  • Southbound 4th and M, NW Eastbound 5th and NY Ave NE
  • Southbound 3rd from NY Ave, NW Southbound at New Jersey
  • N St, NW Northbound at New Jersey and K St, NW

A water main break sent water cascading down its walls, damaging the roadway and forcing officials to close it.

In the words of News4’s legendary Pat Collins, the water main break “turned the 3rd Street Tunnel into an ugly, urban version of Luray Caverns.” 

8 PM UPDATE – Crews have restored water to all of the customers impacted by the water main break at the 3rd Street Tunnel earlier today. We still need to make repairs but were able to isolate the main and route water to all customers. Road repairs are still underway as well.”

— DC Water (@dcwater) August 23, 2021

Earlier Monday, police warned of “significant gridlock” in the area, and DC Water told drivers to expect backups all day.

They also said water service is back on for nearby residents and businesses.

A potential sinkhole was reported to D.C. police Monday morning in southbound lanes of the tunnel, between New York Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Christopher Geldart said. 

DC Water responded and found a leak in the tunnel, Chief Operating Officer Kishia Powell said. 

Crews are working to determine the source of the leak. There are two 8-inch water mains and one 30-inch water main that run along the ceiling of the tunnel, Powell said. 

Six buildings had no water service or low water pressure, Powell said. A message from the AlertDC system cited two apartment buildings with more than 400 units that were not expected to have water for eight to 10 hours. 

Customers’ water has been restored, DC Water said Monday evening.

⚠️3rd Street Tunnel remains closed while we investigate a water leak that has damaged the SB roadway. If you live in the area and are experiencing low water pressure, please call our Command Center at 202-612-3400. pic.twitter.com/53uUsPYwa8

— DC Water (@dcwater) August 23, 2021

D.C. Department of Transportation engineers are assessing the situation, Geldart said. 

“We have no major concerns at this point for structural integrity,” he said.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.