I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel between Hampton and Norfolk

The project involves designing and building 5.3km of sea viaducts and new tunnels as well as widening 14.5km of existing roads. As part of the new component, the consortium will excavate two 2.4km-long tunnels between two artificial islands, linked to the mainland by two sea viaducts measuring 1km and 1.9km. The existing component will include demolition, reconstruction and widening of 14.5km of road, with two additional traffic lanes being created in each direction.


The I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) in south-eastern Virginia has long been one of the most congested corridors in the area. The existing facility comprises two 2-lane immersed tube tunnels on artificial islands, with trestles leading to the shore. The tunnels opened in 1957 (westbound lanes) and 1976 (eastbound lanes) and are approximately 2.2km in length. In summer, the existing road is used by some 100,000 vehicles per day, causing tailbacks of up to 8km on the approach to the bridge.
This new project aims to relieve congestion in this busy corridor by building wider lanes and new tunnels.

Technical overview

Two sea viaducts (traditional structures) of 1km and 1.9km, linking the shoreline and the islands, will replace two existing viaducts which are due to be demolished. A third existing viaduct is set to be widened. In addition to the rehabilitation of the existing tunnels, the islands will be widened to accommodate two new 2.4km-long 2-lane tunnels, which will run parallel to each other and which will be driven using a large-diameter (13.56m) variable density TBM. These are the largest tunnels ever to be carried out by VINCI Construction Grands Projets. Increasing the tunnel depth will make it possible not only to secure the risk profile by ensuring sufficient coverage at start-up, but also to keep the machine well contained, extend the islands back towards the shoreline and eliminate the concrete berms to be poured at sea.
Works at sea will be complex: dealing with the weather involves addressing methods, logistics and supply issues.
In terms of the tunnel excavation, the clay soils found around the artificial islands entail ground reinforcement issues. Given the various soil conditions, the use of a variable density TBM with a convertible cutting head enables tools to be switched under atmospheric pressure, avoids the need for divers and reduces the risks involved.

“This project will be a very good reference. HRBT is the largest construction project ever awarded in the state of Virginia, measuring a quarter of the size of France, with a population of 8.5 million. Its motorway network, managed by our customer VDOT, is the third largest in the United States. It is therefore a project of considerable importance. Moreover, with a diameter of 13.56 m, it will be the largest tunnel ever built by VINCI Construction Grands Projets”, Christian Tricoire, sector director


HRBT, the biggest construction project ever awarded in the state of Virginia, will help reduce congestion in the existing network by widening the dual 2-lane motorway to dual 4-lanes over 14.5km, excavating two additional tunnels and expanding infrastructure on the mainland.
The project, which will require a large workforce, will enable VINCI Construction Grands Projets to boost its organic growth by hiring local staff from all disciplines, thus forming a local team for future projects.

Project participants

VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation)

Key figures

Execution dates:
from April 2012 to November 2025

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