The Midtown Tunnel – connecting communities through partnershipsThe Midtown Tunnel – connecting communities through partnerships
Long-named a priority for its critical infrastructure qualities, the Midtown Tunnel project is soon to become a reality for residents in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. The project, which will provide citizens with safer, more efficient facilities and increased gross regional productivity, reached Financial Close on April 13, 2012.
Financial Close on this $1.5 billion project represents a major win for Skanska in the U.S., and of equal benefit to our client and residents in the project area. The project validates PPP as a viable alternative for funding massive infrastructure projects – projects that might not otherwise be possible with limited public funding.
About the Project:
Highlights of the project include:
- Construction of a brand new, two-lane tunnel under the Elizabeth River, adjacent to the existing Midtown Tunnel;
- Extending the MLK from London Boulevard to Interstate 264 with an interchange at High Street;
- Minor modifications to the interchange at Brambleton Avenue/Hampton Boulevard in Norfolk;
- Maintenance and safety improvements to the existing Midtown & Downtown Tunnels.
Construction and renovation activities begin immediately with construction completion expected August 2018.
Skanska and its partners will finance, build, operate and maintain the project during a 58-year concession agreement, assuming full market risk on traffic and tolls. Skanska and Macquarie are project sponsors with Skanska-Kiewit-Weeks Marine as the Design Build Construction Joint Venture. The client is the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
Benefits of the Project:
The economic impacts of the project will be substantial, with creation of over 500 project-direct jobs and more than 1,500 indirect jobs in the surrounding communities. Gross regional productivity is expected to increase by up to $254 million annually due to improved traffic flow and increased connectivity to the various port facilities and other businesses in the region. Other benefits will include:
- Reduced emissions and congestion: The average round trip driver at the Midtown Tunnel will save about 30 minutes a day, saving fuel costs and reducing emissions.
- Free-flow tolling system with E-ZPass: Toll roads operate more efficiently and safely without toll booths. “Gantries” over the roadway collect the toll electronically—with no cash option, no stopping or slowing.
- Upgraded life-safety and evacuation readiness: With the opening of the new Midtown Tunnel, there will be two lanes going east, two going west. Bi-directional traffic in the existing Midtown Tunnel will be eliminated, increasing the capacity for emergency response and evacuation readiness.
- Increased accessibility to jobs, medical facilities and more: Increased travel options will provide greater accessibility to jobs, educational facilities, medical services, shopping and recreational activities.