Virginia Breaks Ground on Bay Bridge-Tunnel Expansion

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A new tunnel is coming to the lower Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission has officially broken ground on the Parallel Thimble Shoal Channel Tunnel.

The new two-lane tunnel will carry two lanes of traffic southbound under Thimble Shoal Channel. The existing tunnel will carry two lanes of traffic northbound.

 A jack-up barge takes up borings in Thimble Shoal Channel

A jack-up barge takes up borings in Thimble Shoal Channel

It will be about a mile long, and cost just under $756 million to complete. At its deepest, the tunnel will be 136 feet below the surface. The tunnel will be built overseas in 9,000 individual sections of concrete, then assembled. The project is expected to take five years, wrapping up in October of 2022.

Virginia Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne, members of the Virginia General Assembly, Bridge-Tunnel officials and representatives of Chesapeake Tunnel Joint Venture and the Design-Build Joint Venture joined the ceremony to kick off the project.

Bay Bulletin