There are many large and unique bridge and tunnel structures located throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, and in particular in the Hampton Roads region. VDOT – based on legislation passed by the General Assembly – has recently completed a study on the funding needs of structures referred to as Very Large, Indispensable Transportation Asset List (VITAL) Infrastructure. Based on the VDOT review of the statewide structure inventory, 25 locations throughout the Commonwealth that are owned by VDOT have been designated as VITAL Infrastructure. These locations have been classified based on whether they are tunnels, movable bridges, or large and complex structures.
The location of each of the 25 VITAL structures is shown in the map below. Of the 25 VITAL structures, more than half (13) are located in the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA). VITAL structures located in Hampton Roads are comprised of four tunnels (including the Midtown and Downtown Tunnels, which are owned by VDOT but maintained by Elizabeth River Crossings), four movable bridges, and five large and complex structures.
Only one structure on the VITAL Infrastructure list – the south approach of the westbound Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT), which provides travel from Willoughby Spit in Norfolk to the HRBT’s South Island – is currently in poor condition based on federal standards. This is based on the condition of the superstructure (which includes beams and girders) and substructure (which includes piers and abutments), which have both been rated as 4 by bridge inspectors in the most recent inspection.
VDOT estimates that the 30-year statewide funding needs for VITAL Infrastructure totals over $3.6 billion (in $2018). Of this amount, nearly $2.3 billion is needed for VITAL structures in Hampton Roads. The structures with the highest needs throughout Virginia are the approach bridges to the HRBT, with a cost estimate in the VITAL report of $476 million.
HRTPO’s Special Report on VITAL Infrastructure and the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel can be accessed by clicking on the following link: