Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion

Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel Expansion

Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion

Largest Transportation Project in Virginia History Increases Capacity with New Tunnels, Interstate Widening

When it opened in 1957, the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel replaced a ferry service and hosted traffic which quickly outpaced projections by tens of thousands. The 3.5-mile crossing — the first to run between two man-made islands — connected a region whose population has grown to 1.7 million people.

Daily multiple-mile backups at the bridge-tunnel prompted the Virginia Department of Transportation and area leaders to undertake the largest transportation project in the history of the commonwealth of Virginia. The $3.8 billion design-build project will widen a nearly 10-mile corridor to accommodate new HOT lanes through the nearby sections of I-64 and includes the addition of a new pair of bored tunnels.

VDOT awarded the project to Hampton Roads Connector Partners, a joint venture of Dragados USA, Flatiron Constructors, Vinci Construction and Dodin Campenon Bernard. HDR and Mott MacDonald formed a Design JV, with HDR as the managing partner.

Breaking the Gridlock

The existing 3.5-mile facility consists of two 2-lane immersed-tube tunnels on artificial islands, with trestle bridges to shore, connecting the cities of Hampton and Norfolk. Traffic on these four lanes exceeds 100,000 vehicles per day during peak summer traffic.

The expansion includes the design and construction of improvements to the I-64 corridor between Settlers Landing in Hampton and I-564 in Norfolk. The project will add a third lane and a part-time drivable shoulder to I-64 in each direction and a new pair of bored tunnels that will increase capacity from the current four tunnel lanes to eight. Altogether, the work will involve 9.9 miles of interstate widening and 3.5 miles of combined trestle and tunnel, expanding the crossing from the current four lanes to six lanes on land and eight lanes over and under the water.

As the design JV lead, HDR is responsible for overall engineering management. HDR’s design scope includes roadway widening; design of 27 bridge replacements and widenings; geotechnical design; drainage design; utilities support; environmental compliance; and ITS, lighting and signal design.

In addition to landside design, HDR is assisting in the preparation of the Joint Permit Application used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Virginia Marine Resources Commission and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. This includes marine mammal coordination, essential fish habitat coordination, underwater acoustics analysis, threated and endangered species coordination, alternatives analysis, avoidance and minimization of impacts to Waters of the U.S., preparation of all impact plates and development of a habitat condition analysis among other tasks.

One of the largest design-build projects in the United States, the expansion will ease congestion, improve safety and promote future economic growth. It is expected be completed in 2025.

Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel Expansion