Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel

Expect delays because of weekend road closures

September 12th, 2012 at 9:58 am by under Traffic

Expect delays traveling to Southside from the Peninsula because of major closures over the next few weekends.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, beginning on Friday, Sept. 14, crews will close multiple lanes at a variety of water crossings. Closures at the Interstate 64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel eastbound lanes and the Route 17 James River Bridge southbound lanes will be in place until Monday, Sept. 17, at 5 a.m.

VDOT says paving work will close those I-64 EB lanes at the HRBT this weekend as well as for the next THREE weekends.

Drivers should use the Interstate 664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) as an alternate route. A signed detour will be in place. The following weekends will also have closures:

* Friday, Sept. 14, beginning at 9 p.m. until Monday, Sept. 17, at 5 a.m.
· Friday, Sept. 21, beginning at 9 p.m. until Monday, Sept. 24, at 5 a.m.

· Friday, Sept. 28, beginning at 9 p.m. until Monday Oct. 1, at 5 a.m. (Rain Date)

The Route 17 James River Bridge southbound lanes will close for five consecutive weekends so crews can begin replacing the bridge grid deck. Beginning on Friday, Sept. 14, crews will close all southbound lanes. Upon completion of work on the southbound lanes, crews will close the northbound lanes for four consecutive weekends. Motorists are advised to use the MMMBT as an alternate route. The weekend closure schedule is as follows:

· Friday, Sept. 14, beginning at 9 p.m. until Monday, Sept. 17, at 5 a.m.

· Friday, Sept. 21, beginning at 9 p.m. until Monday, Sept. 24, at 5 a.m.

· Friday, Sept. 28, beginning at 9 p.m. until Monday, Oct. 1, at 5 a.m.

· Friday, Oct. 5, beginning at 9 p.m. until Monday, Oct. 8, at 5 a.m.

· Friday, Oct. 12, beginning at 9 p.m. until Monday, Oct.15, at 5 a.m.

This road work will take place, weather permitting.

Weekend bridge closures

May 18th, 2012 at 5:26 am by under Personalities, Traffic

Look for some major closures this weekend, but the good news is the roadways won’t be shut down the entire time.

Tide gate testing is set for the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel Saturday, May 19 from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. The Virginia Department of Transportation tests the tide gates at the I-64 HRBT every six months, generally prior to and just after the hurricane season.

Drivers should expect traffic stops of up to 30 minutes as each gate (I-64 EB & WB) is tested. During this test, the tide gates will be lowered and raised giving crews an opportunity to examine the functionality of the system and the roadway drain valves.

You can use the Monitor Merrimac as an alternate.

VDOT will also close the Interstate 264 Berkley Bridge, westbound only, Sunday, May 20, from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for grid-deck lock bar maintenance. Eastbound traffic is not impacted by the closure.

Detour signs will be in place during the Berkley Bridge closure, or you can take the Route 58 Midtown Tunnel as an alternate.

H.R.B.T. Trouble

July 2nd, 2009 at 12:50 pm by under Personalities, Traffic

How many of you are wishing right now you didn’t have to depend on a tunnel to get out of town?

And, quite honestly, this morning’s mess (that has stretched into this afternoon) has affected people who didn’t even need to go in the direction of the Peninsula.

Feel free to vent, by the way.

The job was already busy this morning.  Last night’s storm had caused problems at the James River Bridge.  The JRB was running smoothly by showtime, though.  The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel was another story.  I chatted with the Sergeant on duty who told me that a tractor trailer had overturned during the bad weather last night in the southbound lanes.  The driver was taken to the hospital, by the way.  The accident had a lasting effect on the roads, though.  Traffic could only travel in one direction at a time.  Not a big deal really at that time of the morning.  But folks who travel the C.B.B.T. that early in the morning don’t expect trouble, so we were hearing about delays between 15 and 30 minutes.

That cleared up.

Then, boom.

I was watching the WAVY Traffic Jamcams just after 6:30 a.m.  I just happened to look at the camera on the Norfolk side of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel.  The Westbound lanes looked a little slow, which is unusual for this time of the morning.  I checked a feed that I get on traffic troubles in the area, and it said there were problems at the H.R.B.T.  Sure enough, I caught up with VDOT just as they stopped the Westbound I-64 lanes.  I was able to get it on the air at 6:37 a.m.

Unfortunately, those drivers waiting to make it through the tunnel were stuck–for quite a while.  We first thought the standing water in the tunnel would cause a delay of about thirty minutes.  Nope.

About 7:15 a.m. or so, we started seeing cars being detoured off the I-64 exits, to 1st View.  Those cars were then brought around through Norfolk streets and pushed to I-64 Eastbound to make their way to the Peninsula via the DOWNTOWN TUNNEL, then the Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel.  We were told then the Westbound tube would be closed for awhile.


So, BIG, BIG problems for people heading to the Peninsula (I bet flights got missed at the Newport News airport), then those folks who were expecting to encounter normal Downtown Tunnel traffic were hit with a double dose (there were a couple of accidents as well throughout the morning I-264 Westbound).  Then, wait, there’s more.  I-664 Northbound at the Monitor Merrimac looks like a parking lot.

I know some of you may be trying to get out of town, ahead of the Fourth of July travelers.  What an exercise in frustration!

So, this is what happened, according to VDOT. A water pump inside the Westbound tube malfunctioned, causing the traffic headed from the Southside to the Peninsula to come to a full stop.  We’re hearing word it may be related to the severe storm from last night that resulted in a power outage.  It may take several hours for the Westbound tube to be reopened.

Hopefully, it will be up and running later in the afternoon, for another frustrating ride home.