Back to search result

Elizabeth River Tunnels (formerly Midtown Tunnel), Virginia

  • Elizabeth River Tunnels
  • Elizabeth River Tunnels
  • Elizabeth River Tunnels
  • Elizabeth River Tunnels
  • Elizabeth River Tunnels
  • Elizabeth River Tunnels
  • Elizabeth River Tunnels
  • Elizabeth River Tunnels
  • Elizabeth River Tunnels

Skanska's first US public-private partnership

The route between the cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk via the tunnel under the Elizabeth River in Virginia, USA, is the busiest 2-lane route east of the Mississippi, serving the huge and transient US naval community.Since the tunnel was built 50 years ago, population has increased nearly 70 percent and tunnel usage has gone up by 600 percent. Additional capacity is urgently needed.

The Elizabeth River Tunnels project, which will deliver a major increase in capacity on the route, is Skanska's first public-private partnership (P3) in the USA. The partnership is between the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Skanska and Macquarie consortium, Elizabeth River Crossings OpCo LLC. The project includes:

  • A new two-lane tunnel under the river adjacent to the existing Midtown Tunnel.
  • Significant rehabilitation, fire, life and safety improvements to existing Midtown and Downtown Tunnels.
  • Extension and modification of major local roads and interchanges to create an efficient, connected transportation network.
  • Complete operations, tolling and maintenance responsibilities for existing and new Elizabeth River Tunnels and associated roadways.
  • An annual subsidy to Hampton Roads Transit to increase the bus service between Portsmouth and Norfolk to the highest levels or service, creating a cost-efficient alternative to driving.

Key benefits

  • Reduced driving times
  • Major regional productivity increase
  • Significant fuel savings
  • Lower greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improved bus and ferry services through ERT subsidy
  • $1bn+ of construction work for local companies
  • Direct and indirect local jobs


Service: Public Private Partnerships, Construction, Operations & Maintenance
Mark segment: Roads
Start date: 2012
Completion date: 2018
Clients: Virginia Department of Transportation
Country: United States
City: Norfolk
Concession period: 2012 - 2070
Project status: Ongoing



Project Finance magazine: "Deal of the Year 2012"