CBBT Announces Top 10 Names for the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel Project’s Tunnel Boring Machine

CAPE CHARLES, VA – The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT) and its partners on the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel Project are excited to announce that the Top 10 Names for the tunnel boring machine have been selected and now it’s time to let the public vote!

The top 10 name finalists are:

  • BESSY THE BORING BUFFLEHEAD submitted by Caleb of Broadwater Academy
  • CHESSIE submitted by Grace of Nandua Middle School
  • HARRIET submitted by Desmand of Occohannock Elementary School
  • KATHERINE submitted by Nicolas of Virginia Beach Middle School
  • MARY JACKSON, MIRACLE DIGGER submitted by Adyana of Virginia Beach Middle School
  • MS. TAYLOR submitted by Shania of Kiptopeke Elementary School
  • NIBI submitted by Kaitlyn of Virginia Beach Middle School
  • POCAHONTAS submitted by Quinn of Broadwater Academy
  • SOTERIA submitted by Sophia of Old Donation School
  • VIRGINIA submitted by Pedro of Occohannock Elementary School

The CBBT encourages the public to go online at www.cbbt.com/TBMNamingContest/ to vote daily for their favorite name.  Voting will begin on Monday, April 2 and will continue through Friday, April 13 at 4:30 p.m. EST, when the on-line poll will close to all voters.

In keeping with tradition, the contest rules requested that the name be that of a female, real or fictional, and have some significance to the Commonwealth, the Chesapeake Bay region, nature, transportation or engineering.  Students were encouraged to be creative, clever and witty with their submittal of a 200-word (or less) essay or video no longer than 2 minutes.

Naming a tunnel boring machine (TBM) with a female name dates back to early mining traditions, when miners looked to Saint Barbara to protect them as they worked underground.   The naming of the machine in advance of it beginning to work is a sign of good luck for the project ahead.

More than 120 entries were received from 6th grade students from Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News and the Eastern Shore.

The Review Committee that selected the Top 10 names included representatives from the following Project partners:  Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Commission; Chesapeake Tunnel Joint Venture; Jacobs; Mott MacDonald; HNTB; and Women’s Transportation Seminar, Hampton Roads Chapter.

The winning name will be displayed on the side of the TBM during the launching ceremony which is anticipated to take place in early spring of 2019.

“This naming contest has been an exciting opportunity for students in the region to become engaged with such an historical project,” stated Jeff Holland, Executive Director for the CBBT.  “The entries showed a lot of thought and creativity and we hope that the students have enjoyed learning more about this engineering marvel and mammoth tunnel project that is underway.  The Commission looks forward to seeing the name chosen by the public.”

About the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel Project:
The massive TBM, currently being manufactured in Germany by Herrenknecht, at 42 feet in diameter and over 300 feet long, will excavate a one mile long, $756 million tunnel under Thimble Shoal Channel in the Chesapeake Bay.  The new bored tunnel will run parallel to the CBBT’s existing tunnel that carries more than 4 million vehicles each year under the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.  The new tunnel will carry two lanes of southbound traffic while the existing tunnel will carry two lanes of northbound traffic.  Upon completion, it will become the first transportation tunnel constructed by a TBM in the Hampton Roads area.

VOTE DAILY for your Favorite Name!

(on-line poll open from April 2, 2018 thru April 13, 2018 at 4:30 pm EST)