Elizabeth River Tunnels: News and Updates
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Volume 1, Issue 4 | June 2013
Elizabeth River Tunnels Project June Newsletter

Welcome to Connections, the newsletter for the Elizabeth River Tunnels Project. Connections features updates to construction, traffic, community impacts, and other issues to keep you informed on the progress of the Elizabeth River Tunnels Project. 


Maritime Kickoff Workshop

In April, SKW Constructors and the Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) Project team hosted a Maritime Community Coordination Kickoff Workshop in Norfolk.

Photo on the left: Attendees participate in an open Q&A session with ERT Project staff after the presentation.

Approximately 70 people in the maritime community attended to learn about construction of the new Midtown Tunnel and how it will affect the Federal Channel. The two-hour long event consisted of a complete Project overview with video and an open Q&A session.
 
Topics focused on the planned marine work, including construction and dredging operations, schedule, possible impacts to navigation, and temporary moorings and anchorages. Attendees received hard copies of the presentation along with a Marine Operations map, which shows the location of the new tunnel and a schedule for placement of the 11 tunnel elements.
 
For more information about Marine Operations and to view the map and schedule for construction of the new Midtown Tunnel, click here.



Employee Spotlight: Christie Burns

Christie Burns, a Navy veteran and current reservist, knows what it takes to get a job done. After serving in the Navy as a Nuclear Machinist Mate for eight and a half years, earning her bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering technology and two associate degrees, she easily excelled at her first duties as part of the Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) team.

Burns joined ERC as an Executive Assistant on April 30, 2012. After only a year, she was promoted to Associate Business Analyst.
 
In her new role, Burns is responsible for applying the Comprehensive Agreement and Technical Requirements to the Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) Project business, conducting quarterly reporting and traffic analysis, and serving as the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned Business (SWaM) liaison with businesses in the community. 

While her duties evolve daily with the Project, she regularly checks in with construction and operations and maintenance activities to improve efficiency in data collection.
 
Of all her responsibilities, Burns is most passionate about her DBE SWaM work.
 
“I think it’s important to support minority businesses and I want to change people’s mindsets,” she said. “We need local businesses involved in the Project.”
 
Burns views her career with ERC as more than daily number crunching and data analysis.
 
“I love seeing how the efforts of our team impact the region as a whole,” she said. “It’s rewarding to implement people’s input into the ERT Project and to work on something that is important to the public. I believe in what we are doing.”

Interested in working on the ERT Project? View current job openings here.



ERC Gives Back

Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) is committed to operating responsibly within the Hampton Roads community and strives to be active in the communities in which it operates. ERC positively contributes to the local communities of Norfolk and Portsmouth through outreach, sponsorships, and charitable donations in four main areas: education, youth development, environment, and health and wellness.
 
Donation to EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center
 
In April, ERC donated $15,000 to the EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center (SDC) in Norfolk.


The center houses an international team of endocrinology experts dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes and works tirelessly to support its mission: “Improve the quality of life for individuals with diabetes and other metabolic and hormone disorders by developing innovative methods for treatment and diagnosis.”

Photo on the left: Jerry Nadler, MD, Director of the SDC and Chair of EVMS Internal Medicine, was on hand to accept the donation from Greg Woodsmall, CEO; Marina Liacouras, General Counsel; and Leila Rice, Public Affairs Manager.
 
For more information on the EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center, click here.
 
ERC Good Citizenship Scholarships
 
The Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) Good Citizenship Scholarship Award commends and rewards students who consistently reflect excellence in character and have demonstrated their leadership skills by making positive contributions to their school and community.


This year marked the inaugural awarding of scholarships to eight graduating seniors – one from each of the five Norfolk and three Portsmouth public high schools.

The $1,500 scholarship can be used for any college, trade school or post-secondary institution expense.
 
The scholarship committee asked applicants to explain in 500 words or less what they believe it means to be a good citizen and how they demonstrate these characteristics every day. In addition, each applicant was required to submit two letters of recommendation.


Photo on the right: scholarship recipient Raven Bland (left center) from Granby High School accepts her check from Anita Brooks, ERC employee and Granby High School's first ever mascot (right center), and is pictured with school staff. 
 
Here is the list of recipients for 2013:
  • Churchland High School – Marissa Young, attending Old Dominion University in the fall
  • Norcom High School – Alexis Clark, attending Hampton University in the fall
  • Wilson High School – Brianna Neave, attending ODU in the fall
  • Norview High School – Shandell Scott, attending Brown University in the fall
  • Booker T. Washington High School – Ashleigh Latham, attending VCU in the fall
  • Granby High School – Raven Bland, attending ODU in the fall
  • Lake Taylor High School – Bria Long, attending ODU in the fall
  • Maury High School – Korbin LeClair, attending UVA in the fall
Congratulations, everyone!

For more information on ERC’s charitable giving, click here.



Traffic Impacts

In August, ERT crews kick off rehabilitation of the Interstate 264 (I-264) Downtown Tunnel west. This work will require complete tunnel closures over several weekends to safely complete the work. There will also be weeknight lane closures which will begin August 5. Weekend closures begin August 9 and are scheduled to continue each weekend through the end of the year, with the exception of holiday weekends.
 
Routine tunnel and drain cleaning on the Midtown and Downtown tunnels begins mid-July through the end of the month.

For more details on traffic impacts, click here.



 

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