The Elizabeth River Tunnels Project

The Elizabeth River Tunnels Project

2017 | National Award — Merit | Transportation

The Elizabeth River Tunnels Project

Challenge Design-Build Project Delivery Addressed

The design-build project delivery method added the cost and schedule certainty necessary for financing of the Elizabeth River Tunnels Project to be procured by Elizabeth River Crossings OpCo, thus allowing the project to proceed. It also allowed construction to commence prior to the completion of final plans, obtaining of all environmental permits and clearing the right-of-way necessary for project implementation. Using the design-build and P3 process allowed the project to be delivered to the public several years faster than a traditional bid-build process.


The Elizabeth River Tunnels Project, a $2.1 billion, 6-year, public-private partnership design-build project in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, has been completed one year ahead of schedule. It has reduced traffic congestion with two new additional lanes in the new Midtown Tunnel; provided route options by interconnecting the tunnels via the MLK Expressway; and provides safety improvements by installing lighting and fire protection enhancements in the existing Downtown Tunnels and the original Midtown Tunnel.

Design-Build Team

Client/Owner: Virginia Department of Transportation
Design-Builder: SKW Constructors JV (Skanska USA Civil Southeast-Kiewit Construction-Weeks Marine)
General Contractor: SKW Constructors JV
Engineer: WSP USA Inc
Other Team Members: ERC OpCo, STP (Southeastern Transportation Partners; majority partners RK&K and PTG)
Duration of Construction: 55 months
Project Cost: $1,490,000,000