Chesapeake Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project Begins - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Chesapeake Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project Begins

Posted: 09/18/2017 17:21:00 -04:00 Updated:

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.- A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday for an expansion on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. The project includes adding a parallel to the Thimble Shoal Tunnel. 

Members of the Bridge-Tunnel Commissions and the public gathered on Number One Island today for a ceremonial ground breaking.

Jeff Holland, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel explains that the new expansion will include adding two lanes that will carry traffic southbound, while the existing lanes will be converted to northbound lanes.

"The west side of the islands become the new tunnel works, so there's no outward expansion outside of the existing retaining walls," Holland said.

A total of $756 million will be spent on the project. The tunnel is being built in Germany and will be shipped over to Virginia, in sections, once it's completed.

Construction began on Island Number Two roughly four weeks ago. That island, as well as Island Number One, will be closed off to the public starting October 1st.

"There will be many positive amenities for the public. And very importantly, as you heard today, conducted in a manner that is business like, not government like," Holland said.

Officials from the Eastern Shore said there are many benefits for the Peninsula.

"We have agriculture, forestry, the seafood industry. All of these things are important to the economy of the Eastern shore and VA, not to mention tourism. So it's all tied into the economy," Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, said.

The expansion project is slated to be completed by 2022.

 

 

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