Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel

Posted on October 20, 2008  Comments (9)

photo of Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel photo of Hampton Roads Virginia Bridge-Tunnel

Now that is some cool engineering: a bridge that becomes a tunnel. The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel is a 4.6 miles (7.4 km) crossing for Interstate 664 in Hampton Roads, Virginia, USA. It is a four-lane bridge-tunnel composed of bridges, trestles, man-made islands, and tunnels under a portion of the Hampton Roads harbor where the James, Nansemond, and Elizabeth Rivers come together in the southeastern portion of Virginia.

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It was completed in 1992, after 7 years of construction, at a cost $400 million, and it includes a four-lane tunnel that is 4,800 feet (1,463 m) long, two man-made portal islands, and 3.2 miles (5.1 km) of twin trestle.

Photos by Virginia Department of Transportation. Details from wikipedia. Google satellite view of the bridge-tunnel.

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9 Responses to “Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel”

  1. Myron Tay
    October 21st, 2008 @ 9:01 am

    Absolutely surreal. Are there glass panels down there where you can see whats down in the ocean? And won’t it be more cost effective just to build a regular bridge?

  2. curiouscat
    October 21st, 2008 @ 10:02 am

    1) No glass panels
    2) I am sure it would be less costly to just continue the bridge when looking at the cost of the road. However, there is a large port, so I am guessing this was the best solution to let ships into the port and have a road.

  3. Anonymous
    October 21st, 2008 @ 12:06 pm

    Like the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, it makes sense in the bay because of all the deep draft ships that are in transit. It is not as freaking going into the tunnel part as it is getting stuck behind a mobile home driving at 20 MPH on the bridge part.

  4. Anonymous
    December 29th, 2008 @ 5:09 pm

    This is absolutely amazing. I want to drive down to Virginia just to go over/under it!

  5. Anonymous
    January 5th, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

    Although on a more selfish note it did increase the price of the land in Northern Suffolk Virginia. Although the other reason for the tunnels are being able to get carriers in and out. Ever been UNDERNEATH carrier, its something to think about.

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