Four teams have been shortlisted for the Parallel Thimble Shoals project along the 23-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel between Virginia Beach, Va., and the Delmarva Peninsula.

The teams, which responded to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Commission’s May 2015 RFQ, include:

  • AWVC Tunnelbuilders: a joint venture of Archer Western Construction and VINCI Construction Grand Projects
  • BTM JV: a joint venture of Bouygues Travaux Publics; Traylor Bros., Inc.;  and Manson Construction Co.
  • Dragados-Schiavone Joint Venture: a joint venture of Dragados USA and Schiavone Construction
  • SKW Tunnel Builders: a joint venture of Skanska USA Civil Southeast Inc.; Kiewit Infrastructure Co.; and Weeks Marine, Inc.

A fifth team, a joint venture of Salini Impregilo S.p.A.; S. A. Healy Company; and GLF Construction Corporation, submitted qualifications, but was not selected for the next stage of the design-build procurement process, which calls for proprietary meetings with the Commission over the next four months to discuss teams’ respective approaches to constructing the approximately 5,700-ft long tunnel and associated infrastructure, and to provide comments on the draft RFP issued August 11.

AWVC Tunnelbuilders and BTM JV submitted qualifications for using both immersed tube (ITT) and bored tunneling methods. Dragados-Schiavone submitted for bored tunneling, while SKW, which is also handling the Midtown Tunnel/Martin Luther King Freeway P3 project in Norfolk and Portsmouth, submitted for ITT.

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The shortlisted teams are scheduled to submit preliminary technical proposals by March 1, 2016, with final pricing and technical proposals due at the end of April. The Commission will make its selection and issue a notice to proceed in July 2016. Design and construction are expected to take approximately four years.

Later this month, the Commission is expected to shortlist teams for the parallel tunnel project’s Construction Manager, with a selection due September 9.

While no price has been set for the parallel tunnel, a 2014 P3 proposal pegged the cost at approximately $1 billion. The Commission plans to fund the project using a combination of toll revenue bonds, TIFIA and Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank loans, and its own resources.

Completed in 1963 the Bridge-Tunnel carries U.S. Route 13 across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, with the tunnels providing channels up to 100 feet deep for commercial and military vessels. A $250 million addition of above-water segments to separate north- and southbound traffic was completed in 1995.

Nearly 10,000 vehicles use the Bridge-Tunnel each day, with higher volumes during the summer tourist season.