February 2020 Edition
New Year Brings HRBT Expansion Progress
Congestion relief is in sight now that the largest road construction project in Virginia’s history is underway! The $3.8 billion Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion project will relieve congestion from the average daily six-mile commuter backups and accommodate more than 100,000 vehicles that use the crossing daily during peak travel periods.
The project, expected to be completed by November 2025, will widen the four-lane segments of the I-64 corridor in the cities of Hampton and Norfolk. Twin two lane bored-tunnels will be built west of the existing tunnels. The new tunnels will serve eastbound traffic and the existing eastbound and westbound tunnels will serve all westbound traffic upon completion of the project.
Pictured Above: Aerial view of HRBT looking toward Hampton
Meet VDOT’s Project Director
Jim Utterback
James S. Utterback was named Project Director for the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) Expansion Project in January 2018 after serving as District Administrator of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Hampton Roads District for five years. During that time, he led the development and delivery of one VDOT’s largest district construction programs with a total contract value exceeding one billion dollars.
Utterback has been with VDOT for 20 years. In addition to his state service, he served in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserves for 26 years, retiring in 2010 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Utterback says he is honored to lead a project that was made possible through unprecedented regional cooperation. “To know that the Hampton Roads region is behind this project 100 percent gives me great satisfaction as our team commits to deliver the Commonwealth’s largest-ever construction contract on time and on budget,” Utterback said.
Pictured Above:  James S. Utterback, VDOT-HRBT Expansion Project Director
Funding for the HRBT Expansion Project
In April 2019, the Commonwealth of Virginia signed a Project Agreement for Funding and Administration (PAFA) with the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC). At the same signing ceremony, a Comprehensive Agreement was executed with Hampton Roads Connector partners (HRCP), the design-build team that will build twin tunnels and complete the 10 miles of I-64 improvements.

The project kicked off in April 2019. Below is an update on our progress.

Pictured Above: April 25, 2019 - Delivery of the HRBT Expansion Project
We're Official!
Sign outside of headquarters
The official project sign is up marking the location of our Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) Expansion Office at 240 Corporate Boulevard in Norfolk, Va. 

VDOT’s HRBT Expansion Team and HRCP’s Project Team are co-located in the building to enable efficient communication for this fast-paced project.
Design-Build Team Progress
Hampton Roads Connector Partners (HRCP) is a construction joint venture consisting of Dragados USA, Flatiron Constructors, Vinci Construction and Dodin Campenon Bernard.  HDR and Mott MacDonald are HRCP’s lead designers. In 2019, HRCP:
  • Advanced the design work on the interstate widening, marine bridges, and tunnel aspects of the project
  • Developed the project’s environmental permit applications and continued consistent communication with the permitting agencies

  • Implemented the HRCP safety culture: Senior management and the Environmental, Health and Safety team worked to develop the team’s project safety policies and procedures and conducted safety training to HRCP personnel and subcontractors
  • Conducted initial site investigation work: Surveying, geotechnical sampling (both land and river bottom), and utilities identification throughout the project corridor

  • Delivered on the project’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Small, Women-owned and Minority-owned Enterprise (DBE/SWaM) commitment to source products and services from small businesses: At the end of December 2019, over 67 small business vendors had been awarded contracts valued at over $18 million
Marine Boring
Pictured Above: A lift boat collects geotechnical core samples from the river bottom near the existing HRBT
In 2020, the project transitions from the design and permitting stage to the early construction phase. Initial construction work involving utility relocation on the South Island is slated to begin in the coming months. Once the environmental permits are received, HRCP can receive Notice to Proceed (NTP) from VDOT, enabling HRCP to begin major field operations across the project corridor.
HRCP will set up field offices in Norfolk and Hampton during Spring 2020, and will continue to expand the design-build team through the hiring of project management staff, construction trades personnel, and administration and support resources. For more on employment opportunities, email  contact@HamptonRoadsConnector.com .
We Want To Meet With You!
Both public and stakeholder outreach is critical to the success of the HRBT Expansion Project, and we are available to answer your questions or speak to your civic, church, business, school or community group. HRBT Expansion Team members have participated in nearly 100 community outreach events since Spring 2017.
Team members can provide a presentation of the Commonwealth’s largest-ever highway project to illustrate and explain the tunneling and corridor widening planned along Interstate 64. Public outreach will continue throughout the project. To schedule a presentation for your organization, contact  hrbtinfo@vdot.virginia.gov ., and be sure to visit our website,  www.hrbtexpansion.org  to learn more about the project. 
Pictured Above: Community Presentation at Downtown Hampton Development Partnership
Can't Attend A Meeting? Tune Into a Podcast.
The HRBT Expansion Project has its own podcast –  “HRBT Tunnel Talk”  – that has gained national and international attention. There are currently three podcasts available and more to come. 
In the latest podcast, Communications Manager Paula Miller interviewed Yvonnick Rescamps about tunnel-boring technology and how a Tunnel Boring Machine, or TBM, will be used for the HRBT Expansion Project. Rescamps is HRCP’s Tunnel Lead on the project and has worked on bored tunnels around the world.

Be sure to check out all the podcasts by searching for  HRBT Tunnel Talk  on iTunes or Apple Podcasts, visiting  http://tunneltalktoday.libsyn.com/ , or clicking on the button below.
Pictured Above:  HRBT Tunnel Talk with host Paula Miller, VDOT (right) and guest Yvonnick Rescamps, HRCP (left)