HNTB provided construction quality control services as part of the design-build contract for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Elizabeth River Tunnels, a public-private partnership project consisting of five construction components across three facilities in Norfolk, Virginia.

One significant portion of the project, the Midtown Tunnel is a 3,800-foot-long tunnel adjacent to the 50-year-old Midtown Tunnel and connects the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth. The new tunnel is one of the first all-concrete, immersed-tube tunnels designed for deep water in the United States. Work also included rehabilitation of the old Midtown tunnel, two downtown tunnels and the new MLK expressway.

As construction quality control lead consultant, HNTB developed the project’s quality manual and construction quality manual plan. The firm also handled documentation, work plan and constructability reviews, preparatory meetings, coordination with design and design builder, construction quality control inspections, material testing and material approval. With 50 full-time staff spread across four locations, HNTB identified and addressed potential issues before complications arose, minimizing project rework, cost and disruption to the public while maximizing owner satisfaction.

With the elimination of two-way traffic from the existing tunnel, the new, two-lane tolled Midtown Tunnel extends the adjoining freeway, improves connecting interchanges and saves drivers 30 minutes of travel time daily.

Location: Portsmouth, VA

Client: Virginia Department of Transportation