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Council to close tunnel under bridge

CHESAPEAKE — The Chesapeake village council has approved the closure of the tunnel under the Robert C. Byrd bridge leading to Huntington.

Council member Paul Hart said the decision came at the meeting on Monday.

“There had been drunks, needles, people defecating in there,” he said. “It was time to make the move.”

Hart said the tunnel will be closed off and garage doors will be installed and locked at both entrances.

In other business at the meeting, the council moved to increase the village’s liability insurance from $2 million to $5 million.

Hart said the decision was taken as a precaution, citing lawsuits against police in other cities as an example of why there would be a need.

The council also held a reception for outgoing Mayor Dick Gilpin, who will leave office at the end of the month.

Gilpin swore in his successor, Tommy Templeton, at the session, though he will not officially take office until Jan. 1.