Portsmouth, Va. - The fourth of eleven new tunnel elements that will make up the new Midtown Tunnel was immersed in the Elizabeth River this week and joined to the three previously placed elements, the Elizabeth River Tunnels Project team announced Friday.
The new Midtown Tunnel is now just over one-third of the way across the river.
The fourth element was the first tunnel element placed in open waters. The first three were placed in an excavated slot next to the Portsmouth Marine Terminal on the Portsmouth side of the river.
A large, specially-designed, pontoon-style boat, known as a Lay Barge was used to move Element four into position in the river and lower it to the prepared river bed.
The remaining seven tunnel elements will continue to be placed from the Portsmouth side moving eastward across the river. Approximately one tunnel element will be placed every one to five weeks.
Element five is currently scheduled for placement in mid-February.
The new Midtown Tunnel will become the westbound tunnel, carrying traffic from Norfolk to Portsmouth and is scheduled for completion in December 2016.