On April 29, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District received Final Technical Proposals and Price Proposals for the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel Project. The project is being procured under a design-build methodology. Four teams were shortlisted in August 2015, and three of the teams submitted final proposals. Award of the Project is expected in May 2016 with design beginning thereafter.
All three teams proposed building the tunnel using the bored method. The proposing teams were: Archer Western–Vinci Construction TunnelBuilders (AWVC), $1,071,683,000; Bouygues TP/Traylor/Manson (BTM JV), $1,016,046,800; and Dragados Team: Dragados USA and Schiavone Construction Company, LLC, $1,092,000,000. The engineer’s estimate was $724.4 million. SKW Tunnel Builders (a joint venture of Skanska, Kiewit and Weeks) was shortlisted but did not submit a final proposal. The mile-long tunnel project will be awarded lowest bid meeting technical requirements.
The construction of an additional two-lane tunnel under the Thimble Shoal Channel will expand capacity and improve safety for travelers who utilize the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel and protect the economic competitiveness and livability of the region through enhanced resiliency as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel serves as the sole connection between the Delmarva Peninsula and the Hampton Roads area.
According to the Virginian-Pilot, construction is expected to begin in 2017 with completion in 2020 or 2021. Expansion of the second underwater section is dependent on cost and timeline of the Thimble Shoal portion but it tentatively slated for 2040 or later. The Virginian-Pilot also reported that because the project bids came in higher than expected, it may be some changes to scope to bring the price down.