UPDATE: Work on tunnel in Bluefield postponed

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Monday, January 25, 2020 at 8:30 p.m. UPDATE: BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — Work to replace an old sewer line in Bluefield was scheduled to start Monday, January 25, 2020, but crews with the city said it is postponed. 

The project is to replace an outdated sewer line underneath the Midway Tunnel in Bluefield. A representative with the City of Bluefield Sanitation Board said work was postponed for up to two weeks. He said the board is still waiting on some permits to be approved before work can begin.

BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — The Midway Tunnel in Bluefield will be closing next week and re-opening in late February. The City of Bluefield wants to repair an outdated sewer line.

Samuel Martin and his wife have lived in their home off Old Bramwell Road for years. They have passed through the Midway Tunnel for just as long; a tunnel Martin said needs some work.

“I know that they have been having a whole lot of problems out of it. Between the water and the sewage both, we had problems with water here too, so I guess that finally eroded the sewer system,” Martin explained.

Engineering Manager Stephen Duffy with the City of Bluefield said he knows the sewer system underneath the tunnel is outdated and needs to be replaced.

“We will dig about four feet deep inside the tunnel and then repair and replace the asphalt in there,” Duffy said.

Duffy said he hopes crews are able to complete the project in the time slated.

“Our is hope is that we can be through the tunnel within three weeks, but we have it on the schedule for four weeks. We do have some additional work to do in that area, so the project will be at least four weeks long, but we hope we can restore at least one lane of traffic within three weeks,” Duffy said.

Martin said traffic is one of his main concerns.

“The only thing that would bother us would be the step up on traffic coming through here. We have quite a bit of traffic through here as it is, and this will probably double or three times as much traffic,” Martin said.

Duffy said if you do live on the route of the Midway Tunnel you will have to take a new route. He said Hale Street and Depot Street are both usable detours. He said while the tunnel will be closed for an extended amount of time, city crews will be working round the clock to finish the project.

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