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Repairs to begin on water leak in Interstate 10 tunnel

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Transportation will begin a major renovation project to Interstate 10’s Deck Park Tunnel.

The department will start work in June to repair some issues with water draining from the Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix above the tunnel, according to department spokesman Doug Nintzel.

“In some cases, (the water) will leak even onto the vehicles traveling through the tunnel,” he said.

Beyond being a nuisance for drivers, Nintzel said “The water tends to drip down even into some of the electrical rooms that we have.”

Fixing the problem will involve crews digging a series of trenches filled with gravel where the runoff water can be collected and then redirected via pipelines, Nintzel said.

“The water is directed into these trenches. It actually goes into the pipelines through perforations and winds up being directed into (Phoenix’s) actual drainage system,” he said.

Construction will begin on June 1 after the seasonal closing of the Japanese Friendship Garden at Third Avenue.

ADOT should complete the repair by Aug. 1. That will give the city enough time to correct any affected landscape by the October reopening of the garden, Nintzel said.

That target finish date also puts the completion just ahead of a major anniversary for the tunnel.

“Ironically, we’re in the 25th anniversary of having the Deck Park Tunnel for I-10,” Nintzel said.

The central Phoenix tunnel opened Aug. 10, 1990.