After examining several alternatives for a new crossing of Hampton Roads in southeastern Virginia, the region’s transportation leaders have opted to focus on expanding the capacity of its existing infrastructure. On Oct. 20, the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization formally recommended expanding the 3.5-mile Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel with two new tolled travel lanes, with the existing lanes remaining free to all users. Estimated to cost $4 billion, the lanes would be ready by 2024 under the group’s plan. The original two-lane bridge-tunnel between Hampton and Norfolk was constructed in 1957, with a parallel crossing completed 15 years later. Up to 100,000 vehicles use the bridge-tunnel each day, resulting in frequent congestion. The recommended plan is the least expansive of four evaluated alternatives, among them a multifaceted, $12.5-billion plan that included a new bridge-tunnel crossing. Should Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board endorse the recommendation in December, a request for a federal record of decision could come as early as mid-2017.
Plans for Virginia Bridge and Tunnel Move Forward
October 26, 2016