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Project Profile: Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel

Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel

photo credit: Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District


Hampton Roads to Eastern Shore, Virginia

Project Sponsor

Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District (CBBT District)

Program Areas

Alternative Project DeliveryProject FinanceTolling and PricingTIFIA




The Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel project entails the construction of a 5,700-foot bored tunnel connecting two southbound trestles of the existing Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel, a 17.6 mile structure connecting the Norfolk/Virginia Beach areas to Virginia's eastern shore.

The CBBT first opened to traffic on April 15, 1964, providing one lane of travel in each direction across a series of bridges and trestles and through two tunnels. In 1990, the Commonwealth of Virginia agreed to construct an additional crossing parallel to the existing structure, doubling its capacity. The second crossing would improve safety and provide an alternate route in the event of a traffic incident. The second set of parallel bridges and trestles opened in 1999, however, the facility's two tunnels were not expanded. Each still accommodated one lane of traffic in each direction. When complete, the new tunnel will carry two lanes of traffic southbound and the existing tunnel will carry two lanes of traffic northbound. (The CBBT's other tunnel will not be expanded as a part of this project.) The additional capacity will alleviate disruption from disabled vehicles or accidents (averaging 25 per year), lane closures from oversized escorts (338 per year) and routine maintenance (1,400 hours per year), and eliminate the inherent hazard of a contraflow tunnel.


$1,074 million

Design-build cost - $756 million

Funding Sources

TIFIA Loan - $338.5 million

Toll revenue bonds - $321.5 million

Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District General Fund - $226.9 million

Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank loan - $50 million

Other sources - $137.1 million

Project Delivery / Contract Method


Private Partner

Design-builder - Chesapeake Tunnel Joint Venture

  • Dragados USA, Inc.
  • Schiavone Construction Co. LLC - lead contractor
  • Hatch Mott MacDonald - lead designer
Project Advisors / Consultants

Construction Manager - HNTB

To CBBT District

  • Financial Advisor - PFM
  • Legal Advisor - Nixon Peabody, LLP

To USDOT Build America Bureau

  • TIFIA Financial Advisor - Greengate, LLC
  • TIFIA Legal Advisor - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom, LLP

Bondholders, USDOT TIFIA, Commonwealth of Virginia

Duration / Status

Design-build contractor selected July 2016.

Construction expected to begin October 2017.

Substantial completion expected October 2022.

TIFIA Credit Assistance

Direct loan: $338.5 million.

The TIFIA loan will be repaid through a pledge of the project's toll revenues.

Financial Status

The TIFIA credit agreement was signed on November 10, 2016. Principal repayment of the TIFIA loan will begin with substantial completion and will amortize through a 32-year maturity with the final maturity anticipated in 2054.

  • Not available
Related Links / Articles

Project Website


Thomas Anderson
Deputy Director of Finance and Operations/Director of Finance
Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District
Tel: (757) 331-2960

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