Chesapeake Bay bridge tunnel

Tunnel (CBBT) is a 30 km long 2-lane facility consisting of highways, bridges, tunnels (2 sections of 1.8 km each) and artificial islands (connecting tunnel and bridge sections) connecting the Eastern shore of Virginia with the Virginia mainland.
construction on water

Project description

The Bridge-Tunnel was opened to traffic in 1964, replacing the ferry service that had served the Eastern Shore for more than 30 years. The facility was expanded in the late 1990s to include parallel bridges (becoming 2x2 lane), which were opened to traffic in April 1999.

In 2015-2016 the expansion of the first of the two tunnels was tendered. The Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel Project will construct a new two-lane tunnel under Thimble Shoal Channel.  When complete, the new tunnel will carry two lanes of traffic southbound, and the existing tunnel will carry two lanes of traffic northbound.

Scope of work

TEC was a member of a design JV led by Arup New York and covered the following scope of work:

  • Design development of immersed tunnel option, parallel to the existing immersed tunnel including mitigating protective measures (for comparison to the bored tunnel option, which finally became the preferred and selected option)
  • Review of Geotechnical FE analyses (Plaxis), carried out by the BTM design team to analyse the impact of the bored tunnel (construction) to the existing tunnel
  • Assessment of the existing steel immersed tunnel regarding the impact due to the construction of the new parallel bored tunnel
  • Marine works design of the island protection and protective works on the tunnel
  • Assessment of ship impact on the new tunnel and the protective works on top of the tunnel
  • Design temporary jetty (construction purposes)
  • Participation in (internal) design workshops and Clients’ meetings

Project facts Chesapeake Bay bridge tunnel

  • Client
    BTM JV : Bouygues (France) – Trailor Brothers (USA) – Manson Construction (USA)
  • Location
    Norfolk, West Virginia
  • In co-operation with
    Arup New York / Michael Baker
  • Project duration 
    2015 -2016
  • Country
  • Project phase
Hans de Wit - Managing Director / Senior Consultant

Hansde Wit

Managing Director / Senior Consultant