Virginia tunnel project seeing advance

Virginia’s massive tunnel project is seeing advance.
Road Structures / July 19, 2023 1 minute Read
By MJ Woof
Work is well underway on the HRBT expansion project in Virginia – image courtesy of © Andrea Fotache|

The project to expand Virginia’s Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) link is well underway. Around 110m of the tunnel has been driven so far while the bridge links are also being built at present. However, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has admitted that the project is delayed by around 12 months.

According to VDOT, the HRBT expansion is the largest highway construction project in Virginia’s history. This project involves widening the current four-lane segments along 16km of the I-64 corridor in Norfolk and Hampton, as well as building new twin tunnels underneath the harbour. The work will boost capacity, addressing the congestion problems that occur at peak travel times and will cut journey times for drivers. The project has a total budget of over US$3.9 billion, making it one of the largest infrastructure projects in the US.

The first two-lane HRBT opened in 1957 and cost $44 million to build. Work on the parallel bridge–tunnel facility started in 1972 and cost $95 million to build when it opened in 1976.

Construction work for the $3.3 billion expansion of the current bridge/tunnel link commenced in 2020. The work involves widening the route from two lanes in either direction at present to four lanes in either direction. This widened stretch will be from the I-664 interchange to the I-564 interchange, including new bridge and tunnel sections. The work is due for completion by November 2025.

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