The Atwater Tunnel has reopened in both directions
Published Thursday, November 22, 2018 7:25AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 22, 2018 4:10PM EST
Two days after a flood, the Atwater Tunnel has reopened to drivers heading in both directions.
Early Thursday morning drivers were permitted to drive north through the tunnel, from Verdun to St. Henri.
The southbound lanes opened just before 4 p.m.
City crews have been working around the clock since Tuesday when construction crews working near the tunnel fractured a 60-cm water main and flooded the tunnel.
"So far we don't have an exact picture of the situation," said Philippe Sabourin of the City of Montreal. "The main priority of the city was to stop the leaking, reopen the roads, so that's done."
Officials still want to determine what broke, and how.
"We will send all the bills to the private entrepreneur if he's responsible for the situation," said Sabourin.
It took almost 24 hours to pump all the water out of the tunnel, and more time to clear nearby streets of water, mud, and other debris.
Engineers scrutinized the tunnel on Wednesday and throughout the night before determining it was safe to use, as was the nearby CN rail bridge which was also surrounded by water.
One section of the train bridge will remain closed because it has the access point for the broken water main.
Meanwhile, that broken water main means only one of three pipes coming from the nearby Atwater water filtration plant is in service since one main was already turned off for maintenance work.
At this point, the city of Montreal suspects that it will take weeks to repair the pipe that was broken by contractors.