D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, D.C. Water officials hold groundbreaking for First Street Tunnel

WASHINGTON (AP/WJLA) - City officials in Washington have broken ground on a tunnel intended to prevent flooding by storing stormwater during intense rainstorms.

Mayor Vincent Gray and other officials broke ground Friday on the First Street Tunnel which will hold 6 million gallons of wastewater and stormwater during heavy rain. The project, which is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2016, is part of the Northeast Boundary Neighborhood Protection Project. It is intended to mitigate flooding in the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park neighborhoods.

Officials say both neighborhoods have experienced flooding during heavy rains for more than a century.

The tunnel, which part of the Northeast Boundary Neighborhood Protection Project, will be about six blocks long and hold up to 6 million gallons of sewer overflows, according to D.C. Water.

The groundbreaking also celebrated two large measures already in operation in the neighborhoods that are providing some flooding relief.

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