Restoration complete: 3rd Street Tunnel reopened in entirety

3rd Street Tunnel
August 29, 2021

Tonight, DC Water and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) plan to reopen the 3rd Street Tunnel and I-395 roadway at 11 pm on Sunday, August 29, well ahead of the Monday morning rush hour. The announcement comes after the pair of agencies completed seven days of investigation, repair and restoration.

The tunnel closure began in the early hours of Monday, August 23, when a broken water main flooded the roadway. DC Water first isolated the water main break to stop the flow of water into the tunnel and then restored water service to all customers. Upon identifying the exact location of the break, crews repaired the water main.

Next, crews spent several days assessing damage, backfilling voids caused by the force of the water, and performing concrete and pavement repairs. Tonight, both DDOT and DC Water walked through the tunnel for a final inspection before reopening the roadway.

“We thank you for your patience,” commented David L. Gadis, DC Water’s CEO and General Manager. “This has truly been a collaborative effort. Numerous agencies responded initially, and several have worked hand-in-hand as we diagnosed problems and planned and executed repairs this past week. DDOT inspectors were with us, approving repairs as we proceeded, which sped up the process and created a new model of agency coordination. We learned some valuable lessons that we will carry forward.”

“I am incredibly proud of the hard work that the DDOT team has done over the last six days in lock step with DC Water, our colleagues at DC Homeland Security Agency and the Metropolitan Police Department,” said Acting DDOT Director Everett Lott. “This water main break and the subsequent tunnel closure reminds us why Mayor Bowser’s commitment to strengthening our infrastructure is critical to the safety of our city and our region.”