Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) is the 3.5-mile-long Hampton Roads crossing for Interstate 64. It is a four-lane facility comprised of bridges, trestles, manmade islands, and tunnels under the main shipping channels for Hampton Roads harbor in the southeastern portion of Virginia in the United States.
It connects the historic Phoebus area of the independent city of Hampton near Fort Monroe on the Virginia Peninsula with Willoughby Spit in the city of Norfolk in South Hampton Roads, and is part of the Hampton Roads Beltway.
The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel has two 12-foot-wide lanes each way, on separately built bridge-tunnel structures. The original two-lane structure replaced a ferry system and opened November 1, 1957 at a cost of $44 million dollars as a toll facility.
The construction of the $95 million second portion of the HRBT was funded as part of the Interstate Highway System as authorized under the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, as a portion of I-64, which means that it was funded with 90% FHWA funds from the Highway Trust Fund and 10% state DOT funds.
When the second span was opened to traffic, the tolls were removed from the earlier portion.
The I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel has two manmade tunnel portal islands, at the place where Hampton Roads flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The two manmade tunnel portal islands were widened to the west to accommodate the parallel bridge-tunnel project 1972-1976.
The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel south portal island actually does connect to some preexisting land, about 20 acres (80,000 m²) of land that is the site of Fort Wool, a fort during the US Civil War, World War I and World War II, and a public park since 1970. Fort Wool is on a manmade island known as Rip Raps, created beginning in 1818, which was pre-existing land when the HRBT south tunnel portal island was built 1954-1957, with a small earthen causeway that connects Fort Wool to the HRBT south portal island.
Another four-lane facility, the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) was completed in 1992. The MMMBT provided a second bridge-tunnel crossing of the Hampton Roads harbor, supplementing the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and providing some traffic relief. The MMMBT also forms part of the Hampton Roads Beltway, and is also toll-free.
- 2005 Rand McNally "The Road Atlas 2005" - newest feature- interstate mileage by state
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