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Virginia Must Visit: Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

By Edited Jun 11, 2015 1 1

If you are considering a trip to Virginia there are many things to do no matter what your interests are. One that many will enjoy is a visit to the Virginia Beach area and a trip across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel.

Atlantic ocean seen from the bridge

Construction began on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel (CBBT) in late 1960 and concluded in early 1964, after 42 months of construction. The initial building of the CBBT cost $200 million at that time it only had two lanes. In April of 1999 the addition of two more lanes were completed at the cost of $197 million. The additional lanes created the ability to have two lanes going in each direction in all areas of the bridge. The tunnel however remains only two lanes, one in each direction. No taxes were used to build the bridge/tunnel or it's addition. All costs are paid for by the toll collected from all vehicles who travel this bridge. In 1964 the toll cost was $4.00 per car plus 85 cents per passenger over the age of 6 today the current cost is $12.00, and $5 for a return trip within 24 hours.

The CBBT is 17.6 miles across from land to land and connects Virginia's Eastern Shore with the Virginia mainland at Virginia Beach near Norfolk. It includes two high level bridges and two 1 mile long tunnels under water. Since it's opening the bridge has seen over 100 million vehicles. Upon it's opening it was listed as one of the "Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World" by the "American Society of Civil Engineers". It is not the longest bridge but it does incorporate many different types of structures, including trestles, tunnels, artificial islands, bridges, causeway and approach roads.

On the southern side of the bridge there is Sea Gull Island which offers fishing and eating, however the turn off for it does sneak up on travelers. On the north side when you are on land there is a scenic pull off that offers a view of the Chesapeake Bay. The whole drive offers views of the open ocean and ships to the east, the Chesapeake Bay to the west and due to curves in the bridge often various sights of the bridge itself.
View from the scenic pull off

If you are traveling near Virginia Beach, Virginia and enjoy beautiful views, the ocean, and aquatic life, The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is a definite must see. The nearby area includes many different popular tourist attractions. Beaches, shopping, light houses, geocaching, whale and dolphin sighting trips and much more. While the toll may seem fairly high for many visiting the area the sights and experience is worth making the trip.
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Comments

Nov 27, 2010 2:49pm
dreamaker
Nice over view of this bridge I went accross in the 9.00 era thanks for the memories.
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