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CBBT History

Every Engineering Marvel Deserves a Good Story.

For 60 years, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel has captured worldwide attention. Let’s take a look back to see how it came to be.


Vintage photo of boy on pier

A ferry service carried travelers between Virginia’s Eastern Shore and the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area


Vintage photo of ferry tickets

The Chesapeake Bay Ferry District and the Chesapeake Bay Ferry Commission was created and began the operation of the ferries.


Vintage image of original construction

The General Assembly authorized the Ferry Commission to explore the construction of a fixed crossing.


Vintage image of original construction

The Chesapeake Bay Ferry Commission sold $200 million in revenue bonds to private investors. No local, state or federal tax money was used in the construction of the project.


Vintage image of CBBT opening

Just 42 months after construction began – the Bridge-Tunnel opened to traffic and ferry service was discontinued.


Old aerial image of CBBT

The Bridge-Tunnel was officially named the Lucius J. Kellam, Jr. Bridge-Tunnel in honor of the man who spearheaded the project as it moved from a vision to a reality.


Old image of CBBT construction

The Bridge-Tunnel opened Phase I of the Parallel Crossing, which expanded the two-lane facility into four lanes.


Aerial view of a crossing

The Commission approved a resolution for the acceleration of the construction of a parallel tunnel at Thimble Shoal Channel.


groundbreaking ceremony shovels

The Commission awarded Phase II of the Parallel Crossing Project to Chesapeake Tunnel Joint Venture in the amount of $756,987,318.


Photo of PTSTP construction

Construction began on the parallel tunnel at Thimble Shoal Channel.

Learn More


For 60 years, this engineering wonder has been connecting people with places in Virginia and beyond.

Want to Learn More About Our History? Check Out These Original Videos from Our Archives.

An Engineering Marvel in the Making

Construction of the Parallel Crossing

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