June 2020 Edition
A Message From the Director
Jim Utterback
I am pleased to report the HRBT project has not missed a beat when it comes to keeping our critical stakeholders informed of our progress during the pandemic.

For our first project Stakeholders Meeting last February, we sat together at The Regional Building in Chesapeake. However, the next quarterly meeting in early June looked a lot different as COVID-19 called for a virtual meeting. We were able to share a number of accomplishments from the first two quarters of the year.

This newsletter contains pictures of this progress, as well as snapshots of ongoing work on the HRBT South Island which is a hub of activity. VDOT, Hampton Roads Connector Partners (HRCP) and HRCP’s subcontractors have a variety of work underway leading up to excavation of the pit to receive the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM).

In the coming weeks, HRCP also expects to receive word from our federal and state permitting partners, signaling approval for the start of full construction. Stay tuned.

Jim Utterback, Project Director
HRBT South Island Work Accelerating
PICTURED ABOVE: Water Treatment Plant assembly
Crews and subcontractors for Hampton Roads Connector Partners (HRCP) continue to make progress on the HRBT South Island in preparation for the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), which will eventually launch from the site in early 2022 and begin boring twin tunnels parallel to the existing eastbound tunnel. Workers are moving utility lines, constructing temporary plants on site and preparing to build a large dock to receive the TBM in late 2021.
PICTURED ABOVE: Delivery of electrical manhole for utility relocation
PICTURED ABOVE: A wheel wash station on the South Island will help keep construction dirt off the highway
PICTURED ABOVE: Constructing the wheel wash machinery
PICTURED ABOVE: A 250-ton crawler crane with a 190-foot boom length will be used to build a quay (dock) on the South Island to receive the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM)
Documenting the Project
PICTURED ABOVE: Before taking flight from the South Island, a drone pilot receives clearance from Air Traffic Control at Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field
PICTURED ABOVE: Once clearance is received, the drone pilot lifts the drone from the pad and the drone takes flight. The drone then proceeds to fly a programmed flight path around the perimeter of the South Island and along the trestle bridges, capturing photographs and video footage
During large construction projects, it is common practice to document construction progress using photography and time-lapse videos. The same is true for the HRBT Expansion Project. One of the tools being used by the design-build contractor, HRCP, is aerial photography and videography from fixed-wing aircraft and drones.

In the pictures above, two FAA-licensed commercial drone pilots from Aerophoto America in Virginia Beach, contracted by HRCP to produce aerial documentation of the project, prepare to capture photos and video footage of activity underway on the South Island.
PICTURED ABOVE: HRCP photo-May 16, 2020 - Aerial photo of the South Island
Virtual Presentation for
Second Stakeholders Meeting
More than three dozen stakeholders and project leaders tuned in via computer or telephone on June 4 for the second quarterly Stakeholders Meeting to discuss project developments since their initial in-person meeting in February.

The HRBT Expansion Project has undergone a COVID-19 financial stress test. HRTAC Executive Director Kevin Page assured stakeholders that a review of the project’s financial sheets shows, with some minor adjustments, the current approved financial plan is healthy.

Project Director Jim Utterback shared a timeline with stakeholders beginning with contract award in April 2019 through current early work on the HRBT South Island. The work there includes the relocation of numerous utility lines, preparations for a large dock to receive the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), and the placement of more than 2,100 cubic yards of concrete for three slabs being built to support the TBM operations.
PICTURED ABOVE: Slab construction at South Island
PICTURED ABOVE: Night Concrete Pour
Utterback also shared projected dates for the federal and state permits needed to begin construction. The Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) has given its stamp of approval and issued their permit. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) collected public feedback this month and will soon issue its decision. A permit is also needed from the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). It is projected permits will be in hand by mid-summer, allowing full Notice to Proceed for construction.
June 3, 2020 DBE/SWaM Presentation
June 3, 2020 DBE/SWaM Presentation
Queen Crittendon, VDOT’s Civil Rights Administrator for the project, shared news that 106 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small, Women, and Minority-owned (SWaM) businesses have already received $30.8 million in contract awards with even larger awards anticipated with the start of construction.  She also announced a goal of 80 On-the-Job Training (OJT) opportunities for minorities and women aimed at training and upgrading their qualifications to journeymen worker status on the project.

Public outreach continues through virtual presentations, and the project’s Communications Team rolled out the first edition of HRBT Expansion Magazine. The magazine will be produced twice yearly. Click here to read more.
S-T-R-E-T-C-H and FLEX!
S-T-R-E-T-C-H and FLEX! It's how we roll on the HRBT Expansion Project!  Our #1 priority is safety. Each shift begins with a series of exercises to ensure all workers are ready to face the tasks at hand.
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