Construction of new tunnel at CBBT now running about 4 years behind

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Posted at 4:16 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 17:54:02-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Construction of the new tunnel at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is now running about four years behind, according to the deputy director of the bridge-tunnel.

"It's very complicated and the work is all linear. You can't just build everything at the same time," said Tom Anderson with the CBBT.

Anderson told News 3 in 2020 the expected date of completion was 2024, but now the date has been pushed back to 2026.

There are several reasons for the delays, including permitting issues, a new sub-contractor being brought in and changes to the product's design.

"Any time you lose one part, it ends up being automatically lost on the entire project. It's very difficult to speed up some of the other segments," Anderson said of the project.

When completed, the new tunnel will allow there to be two lanes of travel in each direction at the Thimble Shoals Channel, which is closer to Virginia Beach.

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Virginia) toured the construction on Monday. "I learned there's a lot of challenges with a project this big," she said.

For now, the project only includes the southern tunnel. Anderson says there are talks to expand the other tunnel at the Chesapeake Channel, but that's probably still more than a decade off.

Luria believes the new tunnel will help traffic when it opens.

"It's a traffic, transportation and safety issue, and this tunnel has been here for quite a while. The traffic on the East Coast has grown significantly since it was built," said Luria.