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News Archives: 2017

SEARCH FOR FIRMS TO BUILD NEW BRIDGE-TUNNEL OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY

Request for Qualifications issued for industry response

The project to build a new Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) and widen I-64 in Hampton and Norfolk reached a major milestone today with the issuance of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from firms interested in delivering the work.

The release of the RFQ marks the official start of the contract procurement process. Responses are due March 2, 2018. Among other things, teams may present their capabilities in immersed-tube tunneling, bored tunneling, or both methods.

A short list of qualified teams will be notified in April. Those teams will then be asked to submit detailed technical approaches and binding prices in response to a Request for Proposals. Contract award is anticipated in early 2019, followed by project completion in 2024.

The HRBT Expansion project will build another bridge-tunnel and widen the four-lane segments of I-64 in Hampton and Norfolk to ease daily congestion between the Peninsula and South Hampton Roads, a corridor vital to Virginia’s economy, military readiness and regional connectivity. Traffic on the HRBT’s existing four lanes exceeds 100,000 vehicles per day during peak summer traffic.

The majority of project funding will be provided by the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, with federal support and other resources also anticipated.

Further information about the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion, including procurement details, is available at www.HRBTexpansion.org.

Celebrating 60 years of the HRBT

NORFOLK, Va. – In the history of underwater transportation, the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel notched its share of distinctions, including being the first crossing to run between two man-made islands.

For the communities it served, the span’s debut on Nov. 1, 1957, fundamentally altered the landscape. Virginia’s top transportation official described the impact in reality-shifting terms.

 “With this bridge-tunnel, we have destroyed distance and conquered time,” said Gen. James A. Anderson, chairman of the State Highway Commission.

The 3.5-mile crossing between Hampton and Norfolk replaced a ferry service and united a region, yanking together a population that grew to 1.7 million today. Its traffic flew ahead of projections. One early estimate predicted daily use would reach 10,000 vehicles by 1980. In 1978, the actual count surpassed 40,000.

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HRTPO Endorses HRBT as Part of Regional I-64 Express Lane Network

At its July 2017 meeting, the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) issued a resolution of support for a regional I-64 Express Lane network that includes the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion.

This segment of the proposed network will carry two general purpose lanes and one Express Lane in each direction, at a minimum, with additional alternatives to be considered during the HRBT procurement. View the entire HRTPO presentation or visit the I-64 Express Lanes site for more information.

See the map below for details:

FHWA Issues Record of Decision for Hampton Roads Crossing Study

Action Clears Way for Design and Procurement of HRBT Expansion

A project to expand the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and widen Interstate 64 between Hampton and Norfolk reached a major milestone this week with the conclusion of a nearly two-year environmental study.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Hampton Roads Crossing Study on June 12. The signature of the document concludes the National Environmental Policy Act process for the study and allows VDOT to proceed with more detailed procurement and design of the project.

In its Record of Decision, the FHWA selected Alternative A as the Preferred Alternative to relieve congestion in the I-64/Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel corridor. Alternative A expands I-64 and the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel to a consistent six-lane facility from I-664 in Hampton to I-564 in Norfolk. The expansion includes a new bridge-tunnel at the existing HRBT.

The document, a copy of which may be found here, presents the basis for the study decision, per 40 CFR 1505.2, and summarizes the mitigation measures to be incorporated in the project.

The next step in the procurement process is the anticipated release in late 2017 of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to potential proposers who wish to compete for a contract to design and build the project. Many details, including the final lane configuration and construction method of the new tunnel, will be determined as design and procurement advances.

Future updates on the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion will be posted to the new project website at www.HRBTexpansion.org.

FHWA and VDOT publish the Final SEIS for the Hampton Roads Crossing Study

On April 25, 2017, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) approved the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Final SEIS) for the Hampton Roads Crossing Study (HRCS). FHWA has published a Notice of Availability (NOA) in the Federal Register (dated May 5, 2017).

The Final SEIS includes the information presented in the Draft SEIS, documentation of the Preferred Alternative, updated analyses, and responses to substantive comments received on the Draft SEIS. The Final SEIS and updated technical documents are available on the study website.

The Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.10(2)) and FHWA regulations (40 CFR 771.127(1)) state that FHWA will wait 30-days from the publication of an NOA on the Final SEIS before making a NEPA decision. Accordingly, VDOT will request a Record of Decision (ROD) from FHWA to complete the NEPA process in early June. The anticipated ROD will be posted to this web site when it is available.
 
Following the issuance of the ROD, VDOT can advance with more detailed procurement and design activities.