The bridge-tunnel in Virginia, USA is an amazing engineering feat that spans 17 miles, connecting the Atlantic Ocean to multiple ports along rivers and bays. It seamlessly transforms from a bridge to an undersea tunnel, accommodating both vehicles and large ships. This incredible structure is essential for maritime trade and provides a captivating experience for travelers. As you drive across the bridge, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. But the real adventure begins when you enter the undersea tunnel. Descending below the water’s surface, you’ll be immersed in a mesmerizing subaquatic world. The tunnel’s design and lighting add to the enchantment as you journey through its vast length. It’s a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling along the East Coast, combining the excitement of driving on a bridge with the wonder of exploring an undersea tunnel.
When the $200 million structure was completed in 1964, the American Society of Civil Engineers named it “one of the seven engineering wonders of the modern world.”
To construct it, workers dug huge underwater ditches for two tunnels and lined them with rocks. They then lowered plugged-up pieces of the concrete tunnel into the ditches. In order to allow cars to drive through, the workers then unplugged the tunnel pieces.
The tunnels run about a mile under the Bay, allowing ships and boats to travel over them, according to The Washington Post. The mile-long tunnels connect to the bridge sections via four manmade islands that are each as large as a football field. The depth of the water ranges from 25 to 100 feet, according to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission.
Before the structure was built, 50 to 60 cars at a time would drive up onto ferries, which would carry them across the water, with the Chesapeake Bay to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.