April 2021 Edition
A Message From the Project Director
Jim Utterback
This month marks the two-year anniversary of signing the Comprehensive Agreement between VDOT and HRCP, which initiated the HRBT Expansion Project in April 2019. Since then we’ve made considerable progress – construction on the islands, the marine trestle bridges, and the start of roadway widening – and we have a lot of work ahead to complete the project in 2025. We look forward to sharing new project milestones with you in the upcoming months.
This week, we celebrate National Work Zone Awareness Week to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. This is especially timely, with the newly-installed barriers along I-64 in Norfolk establishing a work zone to widen the highway as part of the HRBT project. This protected median area allows our crews to work safely as they provide the additional travel capacity needed for our region. Please see our Construction Update below for more information on roadway work in progress, and keep alert for construction vehicles when driving through these work zones so that all road users can get home safely. 

Jim Utterback, Project Director
Roadway Construction Underway
Hampton Roads Connector Partners (HRCP) is busy at work widening I-64 from I-564 in Norfolk to Settlers Landing in Hampton. Areas impacted by upcoming construction activities include the Mallory Street Bridge in the city of Hampton; the I-64 Bridge over W. Bay Avenue/Oastes Creek, the I-64 Bridge over West Evans Street, and the Willoughby Bay Bridge all in the City of Norfolk. (PICTURED RIGHT: HRBT Expansion Project Construction Work Zone traffic sign along I-64 in Norfolk on Willoughby Spit)

For additional details on traffic lane shifts, closures, detours and the construction activities planned for May 2021, follow the HRBT Expansion project on social media or bookmark this link to the HRBT website. 
Safety is our number one priority – for both construction workers and motorists - during construction. Please be mindful of the changing traffic patterns, work zone signs, and message boards while driving through the work zones.
Project Progress Photos
Water treatment tanks and equipment are being prepared for construction of slurry walls on the North Island, which will surround the receiving pit where the TBM will make a U-turn to bore the second twin tunnel after completing the first.
Rumble strip removal and other shoulder work in preparation for shifts in travel lanes in Norfolk as roadway widening begins.
New equipment arrives to begin the placement of fill material for the North Island expansion.
A conveyor is used to transfer fill material from a barge to the island expansion area, where it is contained by the bund stone.
SWaM Spotlight:
Engineering and Testing Services, Inc.
To date, the HRBT Expansion Project has entered into 213 agreements with SWaM/DBE businesses, valued at over $250 million in signed agreements. Among them is Engineering and Testing Services, Inc. (ETS), a small woman-owned firm based in Hampton Roads. As a geotechnical-engineering and materials-testing business, ETS joined the HRCP team during the project’s design phase to conduct advanced testing, identification, and classification of soils. The results from their laboratory supported numerous design components of the project, including the tunnel.

Now during the construction phase, ETS provides a team of certified quality-control coordinators and inspectors, engineers, and laboratory managers. In addition, they have established a fully-equipped onsite laboratory to conduct most of the project’s soils and concrete testing, enabling the design/construction team to receive rapid test results for fast decision-making. ETS plays a key role on the project and is proud to be celebrating its 19th anniversary this month!
Engineered for Safety
This month’s safety focus is no accident, with National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 26-30) followed by Construction Safety Week (May 3-7). More than a catchphrase or a short-term emphasis, the project team views safety as a mindset and uses these opportunities to offer ongoing training tailored to the project’s ever-changing work activities.
The HRBT Expansion Project team is proud to highlight not only safety in construction operations but also Safety in Design, an approach that aims to “design out” safety hazards before they materialize. 
For “Go Orange Day” on April 28, team members (pictured below) wore orange to show their support for work-zone safety and share this unified message together.
HRBT Tunnel Talk: North Island Expansion
Tune in to the latest episode of HRBT Tunnel Talk, featuring a project progress update from VDOT Project Director Jim Utterback, and an explanation of the North Island Expansion from HRCP Area Project Manager, Megan Pym.
Click here to listen!
Photo of the Month - The Great Eight
Eight concrete trucks team up to place concrete overnight for slurry-wall panel PY-39 on the South Island. This extra-large “Y panel,” located at the intersection of two underground walls for the future launch-pit excavation, required over 1,000 cubic yards of concrete. That’s equivalent to a little more than 200,000 gallons.
(Photo Cred: Iheb Namsi, Construction Engineer)
Social Connecting
The HRBT Expansion Project team is committed to staying connected with the region for the life of the project. Like, join, follow, or tweet about the project on our social media channels.
Stay Informed