Elizabeth River Tunnels: News and Updates
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August 2013
Elizabeth River Tunnels Project Monthly Update

Construction Milestones

Tunnel Fabrication

Work continues at the dry dock at Sparrows Point, MD, where the 11 steel-reinforced concrete elements for the New Midtown Tunnel are being fabricated. Each of the tunnel elements consists of five sections (see photo below). Production of the first six tunnel elements is well under way with 12,000 cubic yards of concrete placed to date. The total volume of concrete for the 11 tunnel elements is approximately 80,000 cubic yards -- enough to fill 8,000 concrete trucks! 

A full-scale mock up of a tunnel segment resides at Sparrows Point, MD. Five segments make up one tunnel element.

Tunnel Rehabilitation: I-264 West Downtown Tunnel 

The first three of 25 scheduled weekend tunnel closures are now behind us. In those first closures, crews removed old police booths, handrails and walkway access ladders while electrical contractors relocated conduit from the ceiling of the tunnel and installed temporary power for tunnel lighting and tunnel cameras. Contractors also began repairing cracks in the ceiling and removing ceiling conduit to prepare for the Promat fireproofing which will be installed in the coming months. Jet fan installation contractors also performed laser surveys for placement of the jet fans on the tunnel ceiling.
To view recent photos of rehabilitation work on the I-264 West Downtown Tunnel, visit DriveERT on Flickr.

Portsmouth Approach

Noticeable progress has been made on the new tunnel approach on the Portsmouth side. Crews completed installation of the 18-inch concrete piles for the tunnel entrance as well as the 24-inch concrete pile installation in the “cut and cover” section of the tunnel. “Cut-and-cover” refers to the method of construction where a trench is excavated and then covered with an overhead support system strong enough to carry the load of what will be built above the tunnel. A temporary bridge was also assembled and installed to allow traffic across the tunnel excavation. Crews are currently surcharging the area to accelerate soil settlement prior to beginning concrete work. 
Dredging for the first two tunnel sections is also proceeding and Support of Excavation (SOE) pile installation continues.

Norfolk Approach

Staging and preliminary work for the Support of Excavation (SOE) is now underway and several sections of the SOE wall have been installed. Two more cranes have now been delivered to the Norfolk side to prepare for the installation of concrete piles; just like the work which has been completed on the Portsmouth side. Installation of storm drainage and relocation of existing utilities is ongoing.

Martin Luther King (MLK) Extension

The Project team continues with Right of Way acquisition, demolition of structures and utility relocation in preparation for construction of the expressway. In coming months, clearing of vegetation will begin along the Martin Luther King Expressway alignment.

Construction and Maintenance Activities That May Impact Your Commute

I-264 West Downtown Tunnel will be open for the Labor Day holiday Friday, August 30 through Monday, September 2. Rehabilitation weekend closures will resume September 6-9 and are scheduled to continue each weekend from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday through spring 2014. For a schedule of closures, view our fact sheet.

Weeknight single lane closures begin August 5, and continue through the duration of the I-264 West Downtown Tunnel rehabilitation. Lane closures will occur Monday through Thursday, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning.

You can get the most current construction travel impacts for the Project at www.driveert.com/construction/travel-impacts

For more travel information throughout Hampton Roads visit: www.virginiadot.org/travel/travel_alerts/hampton_roads

Connect With Us

Project information is available at www.DriveERT.com. For questions or comments, contact us at info@DriveERT.com.

To report an incident or maintenance issue at the Elizabeth River Tunnels, call our 24-hour hotline at 1-855-ERT-ROAD (1-855-378-7623). 


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