The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel was originally planned to aid travelers in their quest to travel from mainland Virginia to the eastern shores of Virginia and Delaware. What started as a convenience became one of the seven engineering wonders of the modern world.
From the 1930’s through the 1950’s the only way to cross was by ferry. The planning commission decided that there needed to be a permanent structure created. They sold $200,000,000 in bonds and began the bridge-tunnel. When opened on April 15, 1964 it was 17.6 miles long which included two tunnels that were each one mile long and four man-made islands.
A second section was started in 1995 dividing east and west bound traffic. This expansion was opened on April 19, 1999. This section had bond sales of $197,185,177. No local, state, or federal money was used.
Millions of vehicles, personal and commercial, have passed over these bridges and through these tunnels. Folks traveling between Virginia and Delaware cut approximately 95 miles off their trip making the cost of the tolls economical.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Tolls
Tolls crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel are not inexpensive but they’re worth the cost. Taking the bridge cuts the trip into Delaware by 95 miles and the views are breathtaking. A complete list of toll prices can be found here
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Driver Assistance
Driver assistance getting across the bridge-tunnel is offered free of charge if the person driving across has phobias of heights, tunnels, bridges, or any other issues that could create a traffic incident on the bridge. An employee will drive a personal vehicle across. Arrangements need to be made in advance.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and wildlife
There are many different species of wildlife on and around the bridge-tunnel, from aquatic to birds. Watch as you cross and you could see some beautiful feathered friends perched on an island or on the side of the bridge or see dolphins playing in the water.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Man-Made Islands
There are four man-made islands across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. They can be seen at the entrances to the tunnels. Watching the waves as they hit against the rocks and watching the birds as they fly onto and off the rocks is a spectacular view.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel entrances
Tunnel entrances can be exciting for some, scary for others, and ordinary for the frequent travelers. Knowing you will be under the water in a tunnel for two treks at one mile each is quite the adventure.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Exits
After being in the tunnels at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, coming to light again is rejuvenating. The sun seems brighter and the shine from the water more awe inspiring.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Expansion
Until April 19, 1999, there was only one bridge (four lanes). The expansion bridge opened on this day, doubling the lanes and separating the eastbound traffic from the westbound.