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Author Topic: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads  (Read 56150 times)

xcellntbuy

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #50 on: June 26, 2015, 08:14:55 PM »

Sounds like the Commonwealth of Virginia procurement folks got back door pressure to award the tunnel cleaning contract to a minority, women, historically underutilized or disadvantaged business enterprise and forgot their own specific process and basic specifications.  When a bidder is right, they are right.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2015, 07:20:54 PM »

Sounds like the Commonwealth of Virginia procurement folks got back door pressure to award the tunnel cleaning contract to a minority, women, historically underutilized or disadvantaged business enterprise and forgot their own specific process and basic specifications.  When a bidder is right, they are right.

Though the holder of the concession for the Elizabeth River toll crossings does presumably not have to abide by VDOT or Commonwealth of Virginia procurement rules, but whoever is doing the cleaning of the tubes at the MMMBT and HRBT probably does. 

All of them ought to go see how the MdTA cleans the walls of the six  tubes (I-895 and I-95) under Baltimore Harbor.  That's how to do it right - added bonus, they use cleaning equiment mounted on Mercedes Unimog trucks for an added cool factor (I am not much of  a fan of the three-pointed star in general, but the Unimogs (pretty uncommon in the U.S.) are an exception).
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 09:16:34 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #52 on: July 13, 2015, 12:39:36 PM »

WAVY-TV (10): AG to probe admin fees added to tunnel toll bills

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Attorney General Mark Herring says he will work with the transportation department to determine the legality of administrative fees that are added to delinquent toll bills.

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Elizabeth River Crossings adds fees of $25 for delinquent bills, and in some cases $10 per tunnel trip, for drivers who use the Downtown and Midtown tunnels.

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Herring issued a legal opinion on the fees at the request of State Senator Ken Alexander (D-Norfolk). The opinion says fees can be charged, if they are used to cover the actual costs of recovering delinquent tolls. They cannot be charged as means of raising revenue or offsetting a budget shortfall.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #53 on: July 21, 2015, 04:27:44 PM »

Announced on July 10: Tolls will NOT be imposed on the MLK Freeway Extension project.  Virginia bought out the tolls with $78M that had been set aside for the US 460 boondoggle.

http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/statewide/2015/gov._mcauliffe_announces_deal84307.asp

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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #54 on: October 18, 2015, 04:11:41 PM »

Washington Post: Agreement for new submerged tunnel in Norfolk leaves Virginia underwater

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The private proposal to build a new underwater tunnel in this congested port city was originally billed as a way for Virginia to get a crucial piece of infrastructure without having to put in a single dollar of state money.

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Instead, Virginia officials have agreed to spend slightly more than $580 million on the project, more than twice the investment from the companies behind the deal. With no competition, the companies won the right to collect billions of dollars in tolls over 58 years.

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The state also agreed that the companies — Swedish construction giant Skanska and Sydney-based finance group Macquarie — are entitled to large government payouts if Virginia builds or expands other bridges or tunnels nearby, making fixing other traffic woes more costly for generations to come.
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Rothman

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #55 on: October 19, 2015, 10:14:27 AM »

Washington Post: Agreement for new submerged tunnel in Norfolk leaves Virginia underwater

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The private proposal to build a new underwater tunnel in this congested port city was originally billed as a way for Virginia to get a crucial piece of infrastructure without having to put in a single dollar of state money.

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Instead, Virginia officials have agreed to spend slightly more than $580 million on the project, more than twice the investment from the companies behind the deal. With no competition, the companies won the right to collect billions of dollars in tolls over 58 years.

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The state also agreed that the companies — Swedish construction giant Skanska and Sydney-based finance group Macquarie — are entitled to large government payouts if Virginia builds or expands other bridges or tunnels nearby, making fixing other traffic woes more costly for generations to come.

Egads.  Along with the US 460 debacle, VA is starting to look like it can waste money like no other state's business.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #56 on: October 19, 2015, 10:31:30 AM »

Egads.  Along with the US 460 debacle, VA is starting to look like it can waste money like no other state's business.

I really think the Virginia Public Private Transportation Act was not written to benefit Virginia taxpayers and highway users, and the 460 disaster and this deal seem to validate that assertion.

Don't forget about the Va. 895 (Pocahontas Parkway) debacle.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #57 on: October 19, 2015, 01:07:54 PM »

I think the intentions behind the PPTA act are good.  The problem is that state officials negotiated very poorly on behalf of the state and taxpayers, and the private/business conglomerates taking on these projects took full advantage of that poor bargaining.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #58 on: October 19, 2015, 01:31:03 PM »

I think the intentions behind the PPTA act are good.  The problem is that state officials negotiated very poorly on behalf of the state and taxpayers, and the private/business conglomerates taking on these projects took full advantage of that poor bargaining.

The PPTA was sold by its advocates in the administration of Gov. George Allen (R) as being a way to build highway infrastructure faster and at lower cost (and especially a way to prevent statewide motor fuel tax increases, since most rural parts of the state, where capacity is not needed, absolutely do not want to help to fund expensive projects in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia - or along the I-95 and I-81 corridors).
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #59 on: October 19, 2015, 02:43:47 PM »

I think the intentions behind the PPTA act are good.  The problem is that state officials negotiated very poorly on behalf of the state and taxpayers, and the private/business conglomerates taking on these projects took full advantage of that poor bargaining.

The PPTA was sold by its advocates in the administration of Gov. George Allen (R) as being a way to build highway infrastructure faster and at lower cost (and especially a way to prevent statewide motor fuel tax increases, since most rural parts of the state, where capacity is not needed, absolutely do not want to help to fund expensive projects in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia - or along the I-95 and I-81 corridors).

And I'm tired of my tax money absolutely supporting rural areas in the form of transfer subsidies. Sorry, but those economically depressed parts are doing much more taking than giving, and your comment only reinforces this odd notion that somehow Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads are the reason why these counties are poor.

The PPTA was sold because lobbyists told Richmond to sell it. McDonnel's plight shows that Virginia policymakers can be bought and sold, and for rather cheap. I'm sure that the political components of most state's highway administrations are similar (i.e. take a guess why so many State-level secretaries of transportation wind up on the board of directotors of some firm relating to road construction after their tentures). Ultimately, the citizens will wind up paying for a project, and instead of money going to a public authority and become invested in public works, it will go to a corporation's profit sheet and distributed to its owners.

Southerners love to goad all things NJ and NY, but at leat the PANY-NJ produces and runs stuff of use. What does Virginia have to show for its wasted experiments with these partnerships? Not much. Frankly, I'd kill for a Northern Virginia authority that could serve the public as well as PANY-NJ could.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2015, 02:48:00 PM by AlexandriaVA »
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2016, 03:59:19 PM »

In July [2015], the CBBTD received proposals from six contractor teams to build a new tunnel parallel to the existing Thimble Shoal Tunnel (that's the southern tube of the two).  Details here.

Most of the proposals call for immersed-tube construction, which is how many other tunnels have been constructed.  At least one team is proposing a bored tunnel, which I find peculiar, since both ends of this tunnel are underwater.  So that presumably means that a tunnel boring machine (TBM) has to be lowered into the water to a "launch" trench to start the bore. 

The immersed tube tunnel method seems less-complex to me (and I have zero experience in any of this).  Your thoughts?

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froggie

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #61 on: February 12, 2016, 04:53:32 PM »

A bored tunnel also requires that there be stable rock underneath to bore through.  I don't see that being feasible here since there's considerable muck at the bottom of the Bay.
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1995hoo

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #62 on: February 12, 2016, 05:22:35 PM »

A bored tunnel also requires that there be stable rock underneath to bore through.  I don't see that being feasible here since there's considerable muck at the bottom of the Bay.

The islands are man-made islands as well, right? Would that further complicate a bore?
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #63 on: February 13, 2016, 12:14:43 AM »

A bored tunnel also requires that there be stable rock underneath to bore through.  I don't see that being feasible here since there's considerable muck at the bottom of the Bay.

Yeah, there is not much in the way of rock under the Chesapeake Bay anywhere (the link below has a page that discusses what the geotechnical investigations have revealed).  It appears to be mostly mud and sand.  I am a fan of TBM's, and in spite of the problems with Bertha in Seattle, Washington, these are often a good solution to getting a tunnel built, sometimes even though soft and mucky soils.  The Channel Tunnel between England and France was partly through (relatively) dry chalky marl, but things were wetter toward the French coast. 

But the second Thimble Shoal Tunnel is relatively short (and presumably relatively shallow). According to a CBBT presentation (.pdf) to prospective bidders, the lowest part of the new tunnel is apparently to be 1,000 feet long at 80 feet below mean low water.

A bored tunnel also requires that there be stable rock underneath to bore through.  I don't see that being feasible here since there's considerable muck at the bottom of the Bay.

The islands are man-made islands as well, right? Would that further complicate a bore?

That's what I was thinking.  How in Sam Hill do you launch the TBM?  Maybe the contractor has to build a huge cofferdam, pump out the water, dig down to the correct depth and then lower the TBM into position (or just assemble it in the cofferdam).   
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Thing 342

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #64 on: February 14, 2016, 09:21:13 AM »

Senate backs HRVA gas tax increase; House works on tolling plan instead - Daily Press
http://www.dailypress.com/news/politics/dp-nws-ga-tolls-20160213-story.html

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A key House leader, along with Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration, has been working for weeks on legislation that would lay down rules for the future tolling that could help fund new water crossings and other highway work in Hampton Roads. The bill sets new limits on state tolling powers, in many cases requiring General Assembly approval before tolls could be charged. Now the Senate has backed an increase in the area's regional gas tax instead, with state Sen. Frank Wagner saying he wants to build a mound of cash while gas is cheap and drivers won't feel the pain of a tax increase. Wagner's tax is tiered, so if gas rises over $3 a gallon, motorists would pay less per gallon than they do under gas tax rules legislators approved in 2013 as part of a landmark transportation funding deal. Wagner's proposal passed the state Senate Friday 23-11, but looks to be dead on arrival in the House. House Appropriations Chairman S. Chris Jones, who is carrying a pair of major toll regulation bills, called Wagner's bill "a nonstarter" Friday afternoon.

That puts leaders in the two chambers at odds with each other. Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, chairs the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, and Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. "Tommy" Norment Jr., R-James City, voted for Wagner's tax plan Friday. The Senate Transportation Committee laid aside legislation that roughly mirrored Jones' plan on tolls, shelving it for the year. "One would assume that whatever comes over from the House would meet the same fate," Wagner said. Locally, state Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton, voted for Wagner's plan Friday. State Sen. John Miller, D-Newport News, voted against. Miller said he doesn't favor the tax plan or new tolls, and that he's willing to adopt a slower approach to construction than some Peninsula leaders. "Two years ago we told people the transportation plan was going to fix transportation," Miller said. "It's very difficult to go back to people and say, 'We want more money.' ... You've got to be realistic."

Hampton Roads transportation planners have identified more projects than they or the state have money to fund in the coming years. Gas prices are part of the problem, because when legislators approved the regional gas tax in 2013, setting it at 2.1 percent, they didn't put a floor on the price. When gas prices dove unexpectedly, then stayed low, tax collections dipped well below predicted levels. Northern Virginia, which has its own regional gas tax, has the same issue. Wagner included a new floor for Northern Virginia in his bill, something that had been proposed for Hampton Roads. That's been shelved in favor of the tiered system.

Wagner's Senate Bill 742 would replace the current percentage tax with a 14-cents-per-gallon tax when the wholesale price of gasoline is $2.50 a gallon or less. From $2.51 to $3 a gallon, the tax would drop to 8 cents. Above that, it would drop to 5 cents a gallon. "It's a tax increase now, but it's a tax cut (if gas tops $3)," Wagner said. Wagner said his plan will save not just on tolls, but on interest charges, since the state and the regional Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission won't have to borrow as much money to fund projects.

Jones said the region's cash flow situation is better than Wagner indicates. His House Bill 1069 would generally forbid tolls without General Assembly approval on existing highways, bridges and tunnels, but it would allow them on new construction and on existing HOV lanes. Jones has said his bill also will require reasonable free alternatives to tolled routes. Both he and Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne have said tolling is likely to be fairly common in Hampton Roads in coming years, though, partly due to the cost of water crossings.

Wagner said that, under his bill, "we can take tolls out of the equation" for the region's planned projects, except for Patriot's Crossing.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #65 on: February 19, 2016, 10:16:08 PM »

The Virginian-Pilot: New bridge crossings for Hampton Roads pushed far into future in new plan

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The group in charge of creating a transportation funding plan for the next six years has almost finished its work, but under current assumptions, there’s not enough to pay for all the region’s priority projects by 2040.

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Most notably, only one part of a water crossing could be completed by 2028; the rest is set for 2061 or 2066, according to new projections from the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization, the sister group in charge of planning.

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Just exactly what those water crossings are – the Patriots Crossing with Craney Island Connector and expanded Monitor-Merrimac and Hampton Roads bridge-tunnels, or a combination – is still being identified in a two-year environmental study.

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So planners have put a placeholder dollar amount, $4 billion, for one of those projects to be built by 2028.

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The Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, created by 2013 legislation to oversee newly created regional tax revenue for transportation, first started meeting in July 2014.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #66 on: March 09, 2016, 12:43:17 PM »

The Virginian-Pilot: Beach looks for new plan after Southeastern Parkway found to be too costly

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When it comes to building the Southeastern Parkway, another highway link from Chesapeake to Virginia Beach, the cost outweighs the benefits, according to analysis by Old Dominion University’s Center for Innovative Transportation Solutions.

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Now Virginia Beach officials need to figure out what’s next.

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Michael Robinson, the center’s director, presented the findings, determined with micro-level data analysis, at a council briefing Tuesday.

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The model predicts that not many would use the corridor if it were tolled at the necessary rate. It also would have a negligible impact on reducing hurricane evacuation times.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #67 on: May 21, 2016, 09:13:06 PM »

The Virginian-Pilot: Want to use the carpool lanes on I-64 but driving by yourself? You could soon pay for that.

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The reversible HOV lanes on Interstate 64, usually reserved for carpoolers, may soon be open to anyone.

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Well, anyone who is willing to pay.

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VDOT has almost finished studying the conversion of High Occupancy Vehicle lanes into High Occupancy Toll lanes by 2019.

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If approved, they would be the first HOT lanes in Hampton Roads.

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The lanes would still be free for vehicles carrying two or more people, but solo drivers could pay a toll to use them during peak hours.

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The study, set to be finished in June and voted on in July, analyzed 8.4 miles of two-lane reversible HOV lanes on Interstate 64 from I-564 to I-264 and 6.5 miles of dual-direction HOV diamond lanes from I-264 to Battlefield Boulevard.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #68 on: May 21, 2016, 10:10:05 PM »

Haven't traveled on that stretch of I-64 in a while but I guess it must get pretty congested during beach season. I don't mind this HOT lane plan so long that it is VDOT collecting the tolls on the lanes, not some greedy private company(Transburban). The money collected from these lanes could go toward some despertly needed transportation projects in the region(I-64 widening). I also predict that in 15 years, all of today's HOV lanes will eventully become HOT lanes. HOT lanes just seem to be the best way to solve traffic nowadays.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #69 on: May 21, 2016, 11:46:55 PM »

Apparently the new parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT) will be a bored tunnel after all. 

The CBBTD has gotten proposals from three contractor teams, and all of them are proposing a bored tunnel.  Details on the CBBT's Web site here.

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #70 on: May 22, 2016, 12:54:07 AM »

Haven't traveled on that stretch of I-64 in a while but I guess it must get pretty congested during beach season. I don't mind this HOT lane plan so long that it is VDOT collecting the tolls on the lanes, not some greedy private company(Transburban). The money collected from these lanes could go toward some despertly needed transportation projects in the region(I-64 widening). I also predict that in 15 years, all of today's HOV lanes will eventully become HOT lanes. HOT lanes just seem to be the best way to solve traffic nowadays.
I wonder how long it will take to pay off the toll infrastructure including the gantries, dividers, monitoring, revenue collection, billing, and associated personnel?

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #71 on: May 22, 2016, 08:41:00 AM »

Quote from: Jmiles32
Haven't traveled on that stretch of I-64 in a while but I guess it must get pretty congested during beach season.

From extensive personal experience (stationed in Norfolk twice), beach traffic is not a significant contributor along this stretch of 64 (from 564 to 264).  It's the weekday rush that is by far the biggest culprit.  On a related note, it is often more difficult to leave the Navy base at 3:30pm than it is at 5pm because everyone is trying to get out to "beat the HOV" (HOV restrictions go into effect at 4pm).  I'll be curious to see how HO/T conversion affects the flow leaving base in the afternoon.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2016, 06:16:21 PM »

Virginian Pilot/PilotOnline.com: Bids come in hundreds of millions lower on scaled-back Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel project

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After bids for building a new parallel tunnel on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel came in hundreds of millions of dollars higher than expected, bridge officials revised the project to save on cost.

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On Friday, officials opened revised bids from three design-build contractors.

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The bids were still higher, but much closer to the original $724.4 million estimate:

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Dragados USA and Schiavone Construction Company: $755,987,318 (previous bid: $1,092,000,000);

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Archer Western-Vinci Construction Tunnelbuilders: $785,883,000 (previous bid: $1,071,683,000);

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Bouygues TP/Traylor/Manson: $848,452,987 (previous bid: $1,016,046,800).

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“We’re very pleased with today’s results,” CBBT Executive Director Jeff Holland said.

Previous article (from April 2016): Proposals for building second tunnel on Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel top $1 billion

« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 06:19:56 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #73 on: July 28, 2016, 09:41:35 AM »

A contract has been awarded to Dragados USA for the construction of a second Thimble Shoals tunnel on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Work is slated to begin in October 2017 and is expected to take 5 years to complete. As of now, construction of a second tunnel at the Chesapeake Channel won't begin until at least 2040 or later.

http://pilotonline.com/news/local/transportation/dragados-awarded-million-contact-for-new-tube-of-chesapeake-bay/article_93a52221-f545-5733-815e-056ac43cd1a5.html
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #74 on: July 28, 2016, 12:48:27 PM »

As of now, construction of a second tunnel at the Chesapeake Channel won't begin until at least 2040 or later.

I have no problem with  the CBBTD not wanting to have projects involving the twinning of both  tunnels going on at the  same  time. 

But I suspect they are being conservative about the twinning of the Chesapeake Tunnel, and it might get built well before 2040.
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