Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District

Chesapeake Bay Bridge And Tunnel District

Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District

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Description:
Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is overseen by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission, and operates the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel between the Hampton Roads and Eastern Shore regions of the state. The District comprises six cities, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, and the two Eastern Shore counties of Northampton and Accomack.

History

By the early 20th century, the Chesapeake Bay was becoming an increasing transportation obstacle for the growing number of motor vehicles. The Pennsylvania Railroad operated some passenger and railroad car ferry services between the Eastern Shore and Old Point Comfort on the Virginia Peninsula and Norfolk in South Hampton Roads. The Little Creek Ferry operated between the Eastern Shore and Princess Anne County and transported vehicles as part of U.S. Route 13 and the Ocean Highway.

In 1953, the Pennsylvania Railroad announced an end to the service to Old Point Comfort. Worse yet, despite adding more ships, and making as many as 90 one-way crossings a day, the Little Creek Ferry was also proving inadequate. A fixed crossing had long been desired, but was not feasible due to the risk of blocking access to the U.S. Navy's extensive facilities in Hampton Roads. The shortest possible crossing would be approximately 15 miles, far too long for a tunnel such as the Downtown Tunnel across the Elizabeth River which was completed...
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