A new HRBT: VDOT begins tunnel expansion

The project comprises the construction of another bridge-tunnel and the widening of Interstate 64 in both Hampton and Norfolk, according to VDOT. (Courtesy VDOT)
The project comprises the construction of another bridge-tunnel and the widening of Interstate 64 in both Hampton and Norfolk, according to VDOT. (Courtesy VDOT)

The Virginia Department of Transportation has called for companies to design and build an expanded Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel between Norfolk and Hampton for as much as $3.8 billion.

VDOT’s request for qualifications from companies is one of the first steps for the project, according to a VDOT news release.

“It will be VDOT’s largest construction project ever,” said VDOT spokesperson Paula Miller.

The project is comprised of the construction of another bridge-tunnel and the widening of Interstate 64 in both Hampton and Norfolk, according to the release.

The project will bring express toll lanes to the region. Free lanes will remain available “to all motorists at all times,” the release states.

Two of the four lanes will be free lanes, while there will be one express toll lane. Another can be used as an express toll lane during “peak traffic,” according to Miller.

The corridor is “vital to Virginia’s economy, military readiness and regional connectivity,” the release states.

More than 100,000 cars pass through the tunnel daily during peak summer traffic, according to the release.

Most of the funding for the project will come from the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC) with “federal support and other resources,” the release states.

Construction and infrastructure companies have until March 2 to submit their qualifications to VDOT, the release states.

VDOT expects five or six qualified companies with tunneling and construction experience to submit proposals, according to Miller. Qualified companies will also have to share their finance books with VDOT.

Companies that fit the bill will find out in April 2018. Then, the companies may submit proposals for the design and construction of the project, as well as their estimated costs for the project, according to the release.

VDOT will award a contract to a company in spring 2019, and construction is slated to start in mid-2019, the release states.

The project is expected to be finished by 2024, according to the release.


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