|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
||June 17, 2016
NEW U.S. 58 WEST MIDTOWN TUNNEL OPENS ONE LANE TODAY
Rehabilitation of the existing Midtown Tunnel advances ahead of schedule
PORTSMOUTH – Today, the Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) Project, consisting of Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC), SKW Constructors (a joint venture of Skanska USA, Kiewit Construction and Weeks Marine, Inc.) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are pleased to announce the opening of one lane of the new U.S. 58 West Midtown Tunnel. The progress that has been made on the U.S. 58 West Midtown Tunnel, opening six months ahead of schedule is a testament to the collaboration within this Public-Private Partnership.
“Through a lot of hard work and collaboration among all the partners, ERC, VDOT and SKW together worked to deliver a quality project that would benefit the residents of Hampton Roads. Reaching this milestone months ahead of schedule accelerates our path to a more connected Hampton Roads and a better quality of life,” said ERC CEO, Greg Woodsmall.
This afternoon, crews shifted the single lane of U.S. 58 West Midtown Tunnel traffic, which carries traffic from Norfolk to Portsmouth, into the new Midtown Tunnel. The existing Midtown Tunnel will continue to carry eastbound traffic in a single lane from Portsmouth to Norfolk. The single lane configuration in each tube makes it possible to conduct rehabilitation of the existing Midtown Tunnel ahead of schedule and finish construction in the new tube. In order to advance completion of both Midtown tunnels, construction will continue in one lane of each tube.
“VDOT, ERC and SKW are committed to completing the next major project milestones: opening of the 2nd lane in the Westbound Midtown Tunnel and tying it into the new MLK Extension, ahead of schedule,” said . “The entire Elizabeth River Tunnels Project will enhance travel time reliability, and improve safety, connectivity and commerce in Hampton Roads.”
“Opening this tunnel ahead of schedule is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the thousands of people involved - including all stakeholders, the local communities, designers, subcontractors, vendors and crews - that have worked tirelessly over many years of planning and construction. They’ve done exceptional work to provide a modern, safe and high quality roadway to the residents of Hampton Roads,” said Wade Watson, SKW Project Director.
The new Midtown Tunnel will be open to two lanes of westbound traffic as early as late summer. The existing Midtown Tunnel will remain a single eastbound lane until rehabilitation is complete, currently scheduled Q2 2018. Motorists should also expect full weekend eastbound closures during this rehabilitation.
Headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, Elizabeth River Crossings OpCo, LLC, is the private partner of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for the design, construction, finance, operations and maintenance of the Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) Project, with SKW Constructors, JV (a Skanska, Kiewit, Weeks Marine Joint Venture) as design-build contractor. More information can be found at www.DriveERT.com. Follow us on Twitter.