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Largest Infrastructure Project in Virginia’s History Announced
November 9, 2020

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the $3.8 billion Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) Expansion Project, attended by Governor Ralph S. Northam, officials from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and state and local leaders, mark the launch of the largest infrastructure project in Commonwealth’s history. The project will increase tunnel and interstate capacity along 9.9 miles of Interstate 64 between Hampton and Norfolk, reducing congestion and easing access to the Port of Virginia and the world’s largest Naval base.

The HRBT Expansion Project will add twin, two-lane bored tunnels and widen the four-lane segments of Interstate 64 in Hampton between Settlers Landing Road and the Phoebus shoreline, and in Norfolk between the Willoughby shoreline and the I-564 interchange.

For the first time, according to the announcement, VDOT crews will use advanced boring technology, specifically a highly-specialized tunnel boring machine, to dig through soil and construct tunnel segments simultaneously. The new HRBT is only the fourth roadway project to use this equipment in the United States. The machinery is under construction in Germany and is expected to arrive in Hampton Roads in 2021 for assembly. It is expected to begin tunneling operations in early 2022.

The project has received support from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC), federal, and local partners. Design-build contractor Hampton Roads Connector Partners (HRCP) has received Notice to Proceed for full construction activities. The project is expected to be completed in November 2025.

First announced in April 2019, a Project Administration and Funding Agreement with HRTAC commits 92 percent of locally-sourced funding for the expansion. Additional financing includes $200 million from the Commonwealth’s SMART SCALE program and $108 million from VDOT.

“For too long, traffic in the Hampton Roads region has bottlenecked at the tunnel,” remarked Governor Ralph S. Northam. “Folks in this region deserve an easier, more reliable commute. This is the largest project in our history, and it will ensure that people can move around faster, that commerce flows more easily, and that we finally connect the Peninsula and the Southside. This project will make everyone’s lives easier when it is completed.”

For additional information, visit the HRBT Expansion Project site.

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