September was a busy month for construction teams working on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project.
According to a release from the Virginia Department of Transportation, the new north trestle bridges are beginning to take shape, with construction crews placing the first pile cap for the new bridges last month. Crews also placed a pile cap on the new trestle expanding I-64 over Oastes Creek in Norfolk.
“With the placement of the first pile cap, Hampton Roads Connector Partners (HRCP) is making visible progress on the north trestles which connect the Hampton shoreline to the North Island where the entrance to the new tunnels will be constructed,” said VDOT Project Director Jim Utterback.
Pile caps are expected to begin installation at the south trestles as early as next month.
In addition to replacing the HRBT's bridges, the HRBT Expansion Project will build two twin-bored tunnels and widen four-lane sections in Hampton and Norfolk to six lanes, plus two part-time drivable shoulder lanes during peak travel. Two lanes in each direction will be free general-purpose lanes, and one lane and one drivable shoulder in each direction will be variably priced tolled lanes.
Crews started excavating the launch pit on the South Island of the HRBT in preparation for the tunnel boring machine's arrival in early 2022. At the same time, the Project team is preparing for the slurry treatment plant's arrival, which is currently in France being disassembled for shipment.
On the landside, roadway crews shifted traffic on I-64 eastbound to allow crews to begin construction to widen I-64 from two lanes in each direction to four lanes in each direction.
Twenty-seven landside bridges are also being worked on, including 13 in Norfolk that are being rehabilitated and widened. Upon completion of these twenty-seven bridges, the HRBT Expansion Project will feature a total of 39,792 linear feet (or 7.5 lane miles) of landside bridge decks.