On the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, building the necessary set of tubes to supportestimated cargo traffic on the new parallel span by 2014 is between $470 and $770 million, thought to liebeyond the scope of its ability to collect revenue – this with tolls of $17 to $24 for a round trip – andtherefore out of the question.
Other logistical issues on the shore compound these in bringing the Hampton Roads area closer to gridlock. The cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach have concluded that mass transit investment isnecessary to facilitate massive tourist and commuter traffic; however, due to a lack of communication andpolitical trust, these neighbors are in the process of building separate and incompatible mass transitsystems, with Norfolk developing a light-rail starter line to the Virginia Beach border – mostly along anunused Norfolk Southern short-line track and some downtown streets – and Virginia Beach pursuingrapid-busing and BRT along the oceanfront and to its Pembroke Town Center redevelopment, with apossible but unfunded expansion westward to Norfolk. Neither of these proposals, however, addresstraffic to and from the various military installations that create significant logistical difficulties. There arecurrently dedicated, reversible HOV lanes between Norfolk Naval Base and Pembroke, with exits towardthe southern suburbs of Kempsville and Greenbrier; these, however, carry an average of 1.4 to 1.6passengers per vehicle while an estimated 83% of Hampton Roads commuters travel alone to work.
Thiscombination of solo driving and rampant HOV deadheading may be in part due to Naval Station Norfolk’sextensive free parking lots and other subsidies to drivers, a situation that is unlikely to change in the near-term. Meanwhile, the current VMT statistics estimate HOV throughput at approximately 30% of capacity,prompting arguments to convert the reversible lanes to HOT operation.
Improvements are also expected for Interstate 64 between Newport News and Richmond – anattempt to solve the “Yorktown Strangler” bottleneck in which seven lanes of westbound traffic funnel into
Stoughton, Stephanie. “Gilmerton Bridge Rated Region’s Worst”. Portsmouth Current, July31, 1994: p. 14.
Rodrigues, Janette. “Jordan Bridge Closed After Power Cable Breaks Free.” NorfolkVirginian-Pilot, November 30, 2006: B1.
Miller, Kevin G., et al. Commonwealth of Virginia. Joint Legislative Audit and ReviewCommission. The Future of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Richmond, VA: JLARC, 2003.
Holden, Tom. “Study Says 83% Prefer To Brave Rush Hour Alone”. Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, January 18, 2007: B2.
Messina, Debbie. “Would You Pay To Go Solo On HOV?” Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, October 16,1997: B1.