The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is a sophisticated engineering marvel that crosses the Chesapeake Bay in the southernmost region of the U.S. state of Virginia. It connects the Delmarva Peninsula with the Virginia Beach metropolitan area via a tunnel and a dual-span bridge. This architectural marvel spans the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, serving as a crucial link for trade and transportation in the area.
It should not be confused with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge which also crosses the Bay but northerner.
Because of the region’s propensity for powerful storms, crossing the bay can be particularly perilous.
Where is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel located?
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is a toll road that crosses the Chesapeake Bay and is situated in the state of Virginia on the East Coast of the United States.
It is one of the few bridge-tunnel road systems in the world. In fact, many tourists come all the way here only to see the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. As a result, you can easily find some accommodations there as hotels or motels in proximity of the bridge.
You can locate the road on the map below:
Enlarge the map
General info about the Bridge Tunnel.
How long is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel ?
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is a 28-kilometer (17.5-mile) long structure that originally consisted of 19 kilometers (12 miles) of trestles, two 1.5-kilometer (1-mile) long tunnels, four artificial islands, four high bridges, and 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) of approach roads.
This bridge-tunnel road is also called CCBT. However, the official name is Lucius J. Kellam Jr. Bridge-Tunnel.
It is an asphalted dual-spin bridge with a tunnel in the center which has 4 lanes but only two in the tunnels. At one point, the bridge switches into a tunnel so that ships and ferries can pass through the bay.
Is Chesapeake Bay Bridge a toll road?
Yes, the road is a toll road. The fee to cross the Bay is $14 or $18 depending on when you will cross the bridge. Also, if you return within 24 hours you will have a discount on your way back: $6 or $2 depending on the time.
Again, you can pay less if you use the E-ZPass. You can find more information about the fees on the website of the CCBT.
When was the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Built?
The bridge-tunnel opened in April 1964, after more than a decade of construction, replacing the ferry system that was in place before. It was one of the largest and most complex public works initiatives ever undertaken. The bridge-tunnel was an important step in the development of the region, allowing for increased commerce and tourism.
The bridge-tunnel is actually undergoing an upgrade to increase traffic capacity and ensure traveler safety.
How to get to Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel?
In order to get to the bridge tunnel road, you have to follow US Route 13 (US 13). For example, if you are coming from the north like from Baltimore or Washington D.C. area.
If you are coming from the south, for example from Norfolk or Virginia Beach, you should also take the US route 13 to cross the Chesapeake Bay.
This bridge tunnel is clearly one of the most amazing roads in the country, it allows crossing the Chesapeake Bay like the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
You can easily find the itinerary of the drive on this map:
A preview of the drive:
Either if you are planning to drive this scenic road or not, you should watch this video to have an idea of the drive:
Is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel open?
The bridge and the tunnel are open all year round. Yet, the road closes in case of major storms or violent winds.
On account of its stature, slender ranges, low railings, and successive high breezes, it is frequently alluded to as probably the most unnerving bridge in the United States.
Remember to watch the road signs to have total data about the traffic. Also, remember that there is a toll fee on the bridge and tunnel.
If you are planning to drive the East Coast, you should pass through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. You will have an astounding perspective on the Chesapeake Bay. Although, make sure to pick a day without strong winds if you want to avoid any driving issues!
Pictures credits: businessinsider.com
Discover other roads around in the United States: click here or see our road map!