HRBT expansion to cost $3.56 billion

Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (WYDaily/File photo)
Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (Southside Daily/File photo)

The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel will now cost $3.56 billion to build two new lane tunnels along Interstate 64 in select parts of Hampton and Norfolk.

The agreement to fund the project was approved Thursday by the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

“The Project Agreement for Funding and Administration (PAFA) we are authorizing today (Thursday) would not be possible without unprecedented cooperation between HRTAC’s local and state leaders, VDOT and the Commonwealth Transportation Board,” said Michael Hipple, chairman of the HRTC. “Together, we have worked to provide regional solutions and partnerships that ensure future congestion relief and connectivity throughout the region.”

According to the HRTAC’s announcement, the commission will use money from the Hampton Roads Transportation Fund, which consists of regional and gas taxes, to pay for 95 percent of the project. Other sources of funding come from VDOT and the federal government.

Other project funding includes $200 million from the state’s SMART SCALE program and $108 million from VDOT to fund the replacement of the South Island Trestle Bridges in Norfolk.

The original cost estimate for the project was $3.3 billion. It’s not clear what other adjustments were made to the original contract.

Kevin Page, executive director of the HRTAC, said Del. David Yancey, R-Newport News, played a part in getting the HRBT expansion moving.

“He did a good job on that,” page said.

Construction starts in April and is expected to complete by November, 1, 2025.

The Hampton Roads Connector Partners is the design team. A groundbreaking is scheduled for next month.

RELATED STORY: Here’s who Virginia selected as contractor for the HRBT expansion project

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.