Virginia's HRBT seeks RFIs; will host industry forum

21 March 2017

US – The Virginia Department of Transportation has released a Request for Information (RFI) for the expansion of the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT), it announced March 17.

The RFI document solicits industry input regarding the project’s procurement and delivery method, including potential design-build and P3 options. An Industry Forum for the project is also scheduled for April 3 in Hampton, Virginia. The forum will be followed by one-on-one meetings with contractor and developer firms to help inform the selection of the project’s procurement and delivery method.

The existing 3.5-mile (5.6km) HRBT consists of two, two-lane immersed-tube tunnels on artificial islands, with trestle bridges to shore. These tunnels opened in 1957 (current westbound lanes) and 1976 (eastbound lanes) and are approximately 7,500ft (2,286m) long. The crossing is highly congested, with traffic on these four lanes exceeding 100,000 vehicles per day during peak summer traffic.

In 2015, environmental studies were initiated for parallel consideration of several regional harbour-crossing options. In December 2016, Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board approved an expansion of the I-64 HRBT corridor as the preferred alternative, for which a Record of Decision is now anticipated in summer 2017.

Within the limits of the environmental study, the engineering and construction community will have latitude to propose innovative design approaches and construction methods that most cost-effectively meet the project’s purpose and need. For instance, the study does not stipulate any particular tunnel-construction method nor require a specific alignment.

The project’s estimated cost is USD 3.3bn (2016$), including owner’s costs and contingency. The current project schedule anticipates an RFP in 2018, contract award in 2019, and completion in 2024. Further information is available from VDOT at the project’s Industry Outreach page.