Elizabeth River Tunnels: News and Updates
Please add info@DriveERT.com to your address book.

August 2015
Elizabeth River Tunnels Project Monthly Update

Travel Impacts

There are no full closures scheduled for the Downtown Tunnel eastbound to Portsmouth.
  • Downtown Tunnel eastbound single lane closures:
    • Monday, Aug. 31 through Thursday, Sept. 3 from 8 p.m. each night until 5 a.m. the following morning.
There are no closures scheduled for the Downtown Tunnel westbound to Portsmouth.

  • U.S. 58 West: Right lane closed between Hampton Boulevard and Midtown Inspection Station Monday Aug. 31 through Friday, Sept. 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
  • Brambleton Avenue: Alternating lane closures between Claremont Avenue on-ramp and the Brambleton Avenue overpass Monday, Aug. 31 through Thursday, Sept. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
  • U.S. 58 Midtown Tunnel: Alternating lane closures Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 2 and 3 from 9 p.m. each night until 5 a.m. the following morning.

  • I-264 West:
    • Right lane closed from Des Moines Avenue to Portsmouth Boulevard Monday, Aug. 31 through Tuesday, Sept. 1 from 9 p.m. each night until 5 a.m. the following morning.
    • Frederick Boulevard on-ramp closed Monday, Aug. 31 through Tuesday, Sept. 1 from 9 p.m. each night until 5 a.m. the following morning.
  • I-264 East:
    • Intermittent stops between Greenwood Drive and Victory Boulevard Monday, Aug. 31 from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning.
    • Right lane closed from Frederick Boulevard to Des Moines Avenue Monday, Aug. 31 through Thursday, Sept. 3 from 9 p.m. each night until 5 a.m. the following morning.
  • Frederick Boulevard: Southbound lanes closed via intermittent flagging operations Tuesday through Thursday Sept. 1-3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
  • Des Moines Avenue (near I-264 overpass): Intermittent flagging operations Monday, Aug. 31 through Friday, Sept. 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
  • Columbus Avenue (North): Intermittent flagging operations from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays.
  • South Street: Intermittent flagging operations from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays.
  • High Street: Single lane closure east and westbound between Confederate and Constitution avenues.
  • Queen Street: Intermittent flagging operations from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., weekdays.
Long-term temporary closures include:
  • Frederick Boulevard, north and southbound left lanes for pile driving and storm drainage construction through the fall.
  • I-264 East Frederick Boulevard off-ramp.
  • One lane in each direction of I-264 near Frederick Boulevard.
  • Portions of Trexler Avenue, King Street, County Street, and Meander Road.
  • Intermittent closures of Turnpike Road between Confederate and Constitution Avenues.
Visit the Travel Impacts page for more information.

Construction Milestones

Midtown Tunnel Construction

The bulkhead in Element 10 is removed (pictured left) in the new Midtown Tunnel. A view inside Element 11 (pictured right).

Outfitting the new Midtown Tunnel interior continued this month, including sealing and locking the joints between elements, removing bulkheads and ballast tanks, installing topping concrete slabs, installing mechanical and electrical equipment and installing fire protection boards. Placement Ballast concrete placement continues in all elements along with fitting Omega seals and completing closure joints. Bulkhead demolition took place last month, allowing complete access to Elements 1-10 without barriers.
Crews continue installing electrical conduit and cabinets in the egress corridor and progressed through Element 5 this month. At the roadway section, the Project team began placing supports and brackets for future installation of permanent lighting. 

Learn more about the construction of the new tunnel on our Midtown Tunnel page

Norfolk and Portsmouth Approaches

Brick façade work begins on the Portsmouth Tunnel Support Building.

Construction of the Portsmouth Tunnel Support Building continues this month with the addition of roof slabs and parapet walls, along with brick façade work. Planning for electrical and mechanical equipment installation, which will provide power, communications and emergency water for the tunnel, is in progress. 

Construction at the Norfolk Approach has moved forward quickly in the past month. The Boat Section has been extended with the placement of one additional invert and three walls. Crews have completely removed surcharge at the east end of the construction area and extended several water mains for the new Tunnel Support Building. The Project team is now working on the concrete walls of the Tunnel Support Building. The team has also begun widening the roadways that will serve the new Midtown Tunnel.  

Marine Work
Marine work has moved to the backfill phase, which involves covering the immersed tunnel elements. Crews are adding final fill layers on top of each of the 11 elements that comprise the new Midtown Tunnel. The final layer consists of armor stone in the Federal Channel, which will protect the tunnel from ships’ anchors.

The team also built the walls around and on top of Element 11 this month and successfully dewatered the Norfolk closure section. Work has begun on the final concrete placement to complete the tunnel construction. 

(Pictured left) An aerial view of the Norfolk Approach.

I-264 Downtown Tunnel Rehabilitation

In the I-264 East Downtown Tunnel, ITS conduit and cabinet foundation work has continued on both the right and left sides. Jet fan installation is complete and testing is underway. LED lighting
in the left lane is finished and crews are now installing the new lighting in the right lane. 

Work within the Westbound Downtown Tunnel is nearing completion. Final inspections are planned for later this fall. 

For more information about tunnel rehabilitation, including current closures and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Rehabilitation page.

(Pictured right) Crews install backing plates for conduit to the wall of the I-264 East Downtown Tunnel.

Martin Luther King (MLK) Extension

Raised roadways and ramps begin to shape the new MLK Extension in Portsmouth.

Crews working on the MLK Extension continue to place deck pans and rebar along portions of the mainline. Once those are in place, concrete can be poured over the deck pans. Work on parapet walls (the walls around the raised roadways) is now in progress around various bridge decks in the construction area. 
Bridge widening is underway on I-264 at the Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad (NPBL) and near Des Moines Avenue.
Construction along the Harbor Drive corridor is nearing completion—only a few pier caps remain to be cast.
Overhead signs have been removed and replaced with new structures to accommodate alignments of the new roadway.
To accommodate construction and future traffic on the MLK Extension, several ramps and roads have been permanently or temporarily closed.
Permanent closures include:
  • I-264 East Des Moines Avenue off-ramp
  • I-264 West South Street on-ramp
  • Harbor Drive
Temporary closures include:
  • I-264 East Frederick Boulevard off-ramp
  • Portions of Trexler Avenue, King Street, County Street, and Meander Road
  • One lane on either side of I-264 near Frederick Boulevard has been closed for construction
Motorists are advised to follow the signed detours in the City of Portsmouth to navigate around the closures.
Learn more on the MLK Page of DriveERT.com. 


Connect With Us

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

Questions about Pay by Plate? Contact ERT Customer Service at customerservice@driveert.biz.

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). 

You are receiving this email because you signed up for our newsletter and project updates on our website, at an event or by submitting a public comment.

To choose what emails you receive, you may update your subscription preferences. If you no longer wish to receive these emails you may unsubscribe from this list.