Cape Charles, Va. – Work on the Tunnel Retrofit Project at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT) reached the halfway point on Tuesday, July 28 with the completion of repairs in the Thimble Shoals Channel Tunnel, the southernmost of the CBBT’s two tunnels.

The first phase of this project repaired more than 147,000 cracked and delaminated wall tiles and replaced doors, wall niches and railing throughout the interior of Thimble Shoals Tunnel. Conrad Brothers, Inc. of Chesapeake, Va. completed the $3.2 million project in less than 14 months. All repairs were completed in the overnight hours to minimize delays for travelers. Crews with up to 80 members required lane closures while performing demolition, concrete repairs and tile installation along 5,700 feet of the tunnel’s interior.

“Finishing the first phase of a project that has encompassed five years from preliminary design to final completion is a satisfying milestone for the CBBT’s commissioners and employees. This project is integral to maximizing the useful life of the existing tunnels which are currently 45 years old. The traveling public needs to continue to exercise caution as the lane closures will now transition to Chesapeake Channel Tunnel for the intensive retrofit that will take approximately 14 months,” said Jeff Holland, Executive Director for the CBBT.

Tunnel roadway work on the second phase of the project is now starting in the second tunnel, the Chesapeake Channel Tunnel. The $3.4 million project was awarded to Sun Bay Contracting, Inc. of Virginia Beach, Va. on July 8 and should be finished by fall 2009. Travelers can still expect up to 15 minute delays between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., Sunday through Thursday evenings.