WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Build America Bureau (the Bureau) is providing a $338.6 million loan to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel District.
The money will help with construction of the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT) crossing.
The loan provides a portion of the financing for a 5,700-foot tunnel connecting two southbound trestles of the existing CBBT, a 17.6-mile structure linking the Norfolk/Virginia Beach areas to Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The CBBT first opened to traffic in 1964.
It currently includes more than 12 miles of low-level trestle in each direction, two one-mile tunnels each running beneath a shipping channel, two bridges, almost two miles of causeway, four man-made islands and over five miles of approach roads, totaling 23 miles. Because of its proximity to the shore, peak travel season occurs during the summer months (May 15 to Sept. 15) with a significant portion of this traffic occurring on weekends.
“The Bureau is pleased to support the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel project by refinancing the original loan to take advantage of lower interest rates,” said Build America Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian.
“(This) announcement will help the community save millions of dollars, address the economic harm caused by the pandemic, and keep important public works projects moving forward.”
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