A Big Milestone for an Even Bigger Project
“Notice to Proceed“—three magic words having special meaning in the construction industry. That’s the message to Hampton Roads Connector Partners (HRCP), the joint venture group in charge of construction of the massive Hampton Roads Bridge and Tunnel Expansion project (HRBT). The HRCP joint venture group consists of Dragados USA, Flatiron, Vinci Construction, Dodin Campenon Bernard and designers HDR and Mott MacDonald.
The $3.8 billion dollar HRBT project, located in Norfolk, VA, recently received the green light from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to officially begin work, formally known as the Notice to Proceed (NTP).
According to Brian Ballard, Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) Manager, this milestone did not come without its challenges.
“The Notice to Proceed on the HRBT is a huge milestone for the project,” said Ballard. “What’s even more remarkable is that our team was able to achieve this milestone a few weeks ahead of schedule, all while navigating the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Ballard continued by stating, “For my team, the NTP means taking over all highway maintenance associated with the 10-mile stretch of I-64. Trash removal, landscape, sweeping, guardrail hits and attenuator strikes are just a few of the items that have been added to our list of responsibilities. My team is very excited to take on these responsibilities and proceed with work.”
Construction is scheduled to last five years, marking the project’s estimated completion date November 2025. Construction will entail a Tunnel Boring Machine method, allowing road and tunnel work to occur simultaneously.
Not only is HRBT the largest construction project in Virginia’s history but one of the largest in the United States. It is currently the second highest valued project managed by Flatiron, surpassed only by the $4.9 billion LAX Automated People Mover. Once completed, the HRBT project will alleviate congestion, enhance hurricane evacuation readiness and improve roadway safety. Additionally, the project will have a positive impact on the economy by creating 28,000 new jobs throughout the life of the project.
For more frequent updates on the progress at Hampton Roads, visit http://hrbtexpansion.org/ or download “HRBT Tunnel Talk,” a podcast sponsored by VDOT and solely dedicated to providing information on the project and its progress. The podcast can be downloaded by visiting https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hrbt-tunnel-talk/id1485424828.