According to the original 1956 enabling legislation, when all bonds have been paid the bridge-tunnel will become a toll-free road in the state highway system - which will occur 100 years after initial authorization, if current plans are fully implemented. The project's companies hired a private weather firm to help them spot trouble, but with widespread deployment of Doppler radar still decades away, the forecasts were of little help.
Southbound traffic must first pass through the tunnel at the Chesapeake Channel. The new bridge-tunnel provided a 90-mile shortcut for traffic headed north to Delaware and New York compared to I-95, which was also completed in the mid-1960's.
Passengers and vehicles had to spend 90 minutes on a ferry to go across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, from Cape Charles to Little Creek. After exiting the tunnels, all traffic behind the slow-mover will be able to pass. Traffic exiting the Chesapeake Channel Tunnel and proceeding south to the Thimble Shoal Tunnel will already be constrained to 1,100 vehicles per hour.
Crossing over and under open waters where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, the Bridge-Tunnel provides a direct link between Southeastern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula Delaware plus the Eastern Shore counties in Maryland and Virginia , and cuts 95 miles from the journey between Virginia Beach and points north of Wilmington, Delaware.
Clyde Morris — whose job as Warwick city manager was ending because of consolidation with Newport News — became the project's executive director.
To access articles highlighting the facility history and the anniversary, please click here. His union job paid time-and-a-half after eight hours each day and for the first four hours on Saturdays.
On April 15, 2014, a celebration of 50 years was held on the southernmost island of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. A small shed provided shelter.The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel CBBT, Virginia VA
Its heavy onboard crane could hoist pilings of 200 feet long and more than 150,000 pounds with ease, then place them inside the towering frame of a steam-driven pile driver that not only swiveled back and forth to a exact position and angle but also cut a path for its 25,000-pound hammer with two water jets.
Bridge-Tunnel in August 1987, in honor of the man who spearheaded the project as it moved from a vision to a reality. Clark The Virginian-Pilot.
From his article: The Bridge-Tunnel was officially named the Lucius J. Not even the on-site forecasters brought in to track the shifty wind and seas could foretell what the work crews would find when they set out from Little Creek each morning.
The sections were towed to the construction site, then lowered into a trench excavated in the sediments. Dean Dunn describes some of the difficulties of working on the bridge-tunnel, March 2014. Officials in Maryland objected to bridging the second channel, which led to their port in Baltimore.
The portals of the tunnels are anchored on man-made islands constructed in 35 to 45 feet of water, and these islands provide a transition from the trestle roadway to the tunnel tubes. The 5,450-foot-long Chesapeake Channel Tunnel crossed the northerly channel for Baltimore ship traffic , and provided a 1,700-foot-wide channel with 50-foot depth, and a 2,300-foot-wide channel with a minimum 40-foot depth.
It was a pilot from one of the menhaden spotter planes that circled over the bay in search of the fish. These photos show the construction of different components of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
Most of the parallel trestle is 250 feet west of the existing span; the northern two miles of new trestle is 500 feet west.