St. Albans Tunnel Collapse

By: Laurabree Austin Email
By: Laurabree Austin Email

It's the second collapse in recent months. Monday's heavy rain caused big problems in St. Albans at the Shady Side tunnel.

People who live near the Shady Side tunnel say every time it closes it's frustrating, just two months ago it was a similiar scene, but that time the collapse closed the tunnel for a week -- and not having this access causes problems for emergency responders.

The tunnel is only way firefighters can get to River Bend and the Ferrel Road side of it and have to make allowances for it. The fire department has members living on the other side, so they take a truck and put it in the neighborhood to make sure there is coverage. Lakewood fire volunteers who live and cover the areas on both sides of the tunnel are slowed down. According to Assistant Chief David Moss it lengthens the response time, it makes it more difficult for firefighters.

The Department of Highways says the problem isn't structural but they expect this to happen again.

The Shady Side tunnel is now back open, but the Department of Highways says it won't be until this spring before they will really be able to try to solve the problem. One other issue they're facing, they say the tunnel has historic value, so they want to fix the problems, while still maintaining that history.

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