HRBT’s TBM breaks through

The tunnel boring machine (TBM) at the Hampton-Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) Expansion Project’s broke through the reception wall on North Island on April 17, reaching the halfway point. The Herrenknecht TBM will now be rotated on a turntable before being launched back toward South Island to complete the tunneling process.

The project for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is the largest highway construction project in Virginia’s history. The $3.8 billion project involves the widening of the current four-lane segments along nearly 10 miles of the I-64 corridor in Norfolk and Hampton, with the new twin tunnels across the harbor. It will increase capacity, ease major congestion, and enhance travel time reliability.

GZ is providing independent design verification (IDV) services for the tunnel and tunnel approach structures for Mott MacDonald (MM). MM is the designer for the underground works part of the Hampton Roads Connector Partners Joint Venture. The IDV services include a full structural verification of the segmental tunnel lining design for the large diameter dual-bore TBM tunnel. GZ is also performing various structural calculations pertaining to the large diameter Bi-cell and Tri-Cell tunnel launch and reception shafts located on the north and south islands, respectively. In addition to the IDV services, GZ is part of the on-site QA/QC inspecting team. GZ staff have performed inspections of the shaft waterproofing and concrete as well as serving as TBM shift inspectors.

For complete The Virginian-Pilot article, please click here.

If you are interested in GZ’s involvement with the project, visit our project page.

After years of hard labor, crews working on the HRBT Expansion Project watch as Mary, the Tunnel Boring Machine, prepares to break through at the North Island on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (In courtesy of Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot)