I hope this email finds you healthy and well. All is well with the Doyle family and Grady continues to rule the roost. He has become accustomed to Kong dog toys filled with peanut butter as a regular occurrence.
During February I had the opportunity to learn more about two major projects in Hampton Roads. First, I toured the construction site for the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel expansion project. This project is a modern wonder. Slated to open in 2026 this will expand the capacity of the bridge tunnels north and south between Hampton and Norfolk. This expansion is expected to cost $3.3B. “Mary” is the name of the tunnel boring machine that is carving out the new tunnels. This is a huge boring machine that was assembled off site, disassembled, and then reassembled once on site to begin the boring process. Why the name Mary? Mary is a recognition of Mary Jackson who was one of the incredible mathematicians and aerospace engineers who worked at NASA Langley in the 1960’s during the era of the space race. Mary was one of three “Hidden Figures” featured in a book and movie describing their incredible talents and contributions to the success of the US in space.
Second, Norfolk City Council received an update on the Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) project that is a partnership between Norfolk and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This flood protection project is designed to protect Norfolk from a major weather event where water would come in over our shores. The project has 5 phases and the first phase is still in the design process. Estimated to be $2.6B, Norfolk and/or non-federal money is responsible for $931M (35%) of the cost while the federal government will pay $1.7B (65%) of the project cost. Currently, the U.S. Government has $400M set aside for the start of this project. Phase 1 includes four phases – Berkley Bridge to Campostella (1A), Town Point Park/Waterside (1B), Town Point Park to Ghent (1C), and the downtown flood wall (1D). All of Phase 1 alone has a duration of design and construction from 2022 – 2031. Phase 1A is at 65% design. And, Phase 1 includes flood walls with a levee, surge barriers, and natural/nature based features. I encourage you to visit the website to learn more: https://www.resilientnorfolk.com/
I reflect in awe on the massive nature of these two projects and the considerable impact they will have in making our region strong, connected, vibrant and resilient. Future generations will reap the benefits of these projects and look back on our generation with thanks.
My best to you for a good weekend. Enjoy the early spring – I am already seeing pollen on our cars!