January/February 2022 Edition
A Message From the Project Director
2022 is an important year for the HRBT Expansion Project. With construction underway across the entire project corridor, crews are busy with roadway widening, bridge construction and preparation for the tunnel boring machine to start tunneling at the end of the year. The project team continues to work through challenges and move forward with completing the largest infrastructure project in the history of the Commonwealth. 

It’s wintertime in Hampton Roads, and that means challenging travel weather is here. Bridges and overpasses tend to freeze before the roadway, and with 28 bridges along the HRBT Expansion project corridor, we want motorists to drive safely through the work zone. Be aware of your surroundings, watch out slow moving construction vehicles and changing road conditions. Please give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.

Drive safely!

Jim Utterback, Project Director
Construction Update: The "Silver Lining"
A vital component in constructing the project’s new tunnels is taking shape: the curved concrete panels that will form the lining (or walls) of the tunnel. 
These tunnel lining segments – each measuring 15’ wide, 6’8” long, 18” thick, and weighing 12 tons – will be placed by “Mary” the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) as she bores through the soil under Hampton Roads. Each ring of the tunnel will contain 9 of these precast concrete segments. The twin tunnels will consist of a total of 2,388 rings, or 21,492 segments.
Following several months of concrete mixture trials to verify the required strength and permeability levels for a 100-year design life, the design-builder Hampton Roads Connector Partners (HRCP) identified suitable mix designs that are currently being used to produce the concrete that is then blended with steel-fiber reinforcement to fabricate the tunnel lining segments.
The spectacular photo (above), taken from ground-level looking up towards the sky using a fisheye lens, captures the project’s Demonstration Liner – comprised of two full rings stacked vertically to confirm proper geometry and tolerances prior to the start of full production. A precision survey of the Demonstration Liner was conducted to prove the interchangeability of segments as well as to check the connector system alignment and the ring-build dimensions. The interior of this ring is 41.5 feet! For a scale perspective, see the blue manlift and the HRCP team member standing in the lower, left-hand corner of the picture. 
With the Demonstration Liner having successfully passed these pre-production tests and achieved the rigorous assembly tolerances, the steel-reinforced concrete segments are currently being fabricated by Technopref at the Coastal Precast System facility in Cape Charles, VA. Once tunnel boring begins later this year, the segments will be shipped to the project site by barge, 18 rings (or 162 segments) at a time. It’s a four-hour journey through the Chesapeake Bay to the South Island of the HRBT, where the segments will be loaded onto specialized shuttle vehicles for transport to the TBM for installation. 
Project Progress Photos
Crews prepare structural steel for the dock to receive TBM components and concrete segments at the South Island.
Crews prepare to place concrete using a long-reach concrete pump for the TBM assembly area at the South Island.
A tower crane is one of the many pieces of equipment supporting construction activities at the South Island.
Girders are being set for the EB I-64 bridge widening at Oastes Creek.
A precast concrete cap being lifted into place at the South Trestle.
Telling the "Hole" Truth
With ongoing construction and changes in the traffic pattern along the HRBT Expansion Project corridor, from Mallory Street in Hampton to I-564 in Norfolk, the project team is taking proactive measures to make the drive as smooth as possible by filling each pothole. Potholes often develop after heavy rain storms or snow, when moisture seeps into the road surface and freezes, causing expansion and cracking in the pavement.
Since September 2020, under the direction of Brian Ballard, Maintenance of Traffic Manager for HRCP, the project crew has repaired more than 200 potholes along the project corridor. While new roads are rolled with asphalt at 300 degrees, pothole repairs are done with a faster-setting “cold patch” of asphalt material to minimize lane-closure times. The repair process involves removing damaged material around the edges of the hole, filling the hole and compacting in the asphalt material, and making the surface as smooth as possible. The repair time depends on the size of the pothole, but HRCP’s crew averages about an hour per pothole.

“This work we are doing within the corridor is a cost savings for vehicles and safety for motorists,” said Ballard, “but it’s important that while our crew members are working, we all do our part. Slow down. Be aware of workers who are sometimes in lane closures in the middle of the road at night making these repairs. Everyone’s safety is paramount.”
Travelers can report potholes to VDOT at my.vdot.virginia.gov
Employee Spotlight: On the Job Training Program
The HRBT Expansion Project’s “On the Job Training Program” (OJT) offers minorities, women and economically-disadvantaged participants training and apprenticeship opportunities to develop a rewarding career in the construction industry. HRCP’s goal is to produce at least 80 OJT graduates during the course of the project.
The OJT Program’s “earn while you learn” structure offers competitive compensation and benefits to historically under-represented career seekers in highway construction skilled crafts. Applicants choose from a wide range of career paths, each with structured training components in various trade skills and a formal certificate upon successfully completing the specified number of training hours. Experience gained through the HRBT OJT Program can be utilized on this iconic project and beyond.
Congratulations to the most recent graduates of the OJT program!
Keonna - OJT Pile Driver 
Stella - OJT Welder
Leon - OJT Rod Person
Adam - OJT Rod Person
Andrew - OJT Excavator Operator 
Help spread the word! 
If you know of candidates who would benefit from the OJT program, visit www.hrcpjobs.com and look for opportunities designated “OJT.”

Get In the Know, and Then Go!
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