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Financial close seals Midtown Tunnel start Apr 2012
Skanska News Release
Skanska has reached Financial Close with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the Downtown Tunnel/Midtown Tunnel/MLK Extension Project in Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia, USA.
Midtown Tunnel alignment

Midtown Tunnel alignment

Skanska, as part of Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC), invests up to approximately US$136 million, including contingent equity. This corresponds to a 50% share of the project company ERC.
The total construction contract for the project amounts to about $US 1.47 billion. Skanska has a 45% share of the contract worth approximately US$661 million. The project company, Elizabeth River Crossings, has full traffic, revenue and toll collection risk. The toll will be collected electronically via E-ZPass transponders, removing the need for toll booths. VDOT will retain ownership of the facilities and will contribute US$362 million specifically designated to lower tolls that will initially range between $1.59 and $1.84.
Construction will begin immediately and is estimated to be completed by August 2018. The concession length is 58 years.
Skanska Infrastructure Development and Macquarie Group are project sponsors and co-investors, with Skanska/ Kiewit/ Weeks Marine as the design-build construction JV. The project is the first Public Private Partnership (PPP) for Skanska in the USA, and involves construction of a new 1,700m (5,577ft) long two-lane submerged road tunnel, maintenance and safety improvements to the existing Midtown Tunnel and an extension of the MLK Freeway. There is also the responsibility for service operations, maintenance, snow removal and incident response in the project area.
  • Current Midtown Tunnel crossing is bi-directional

    Current Midtown Tunnel crossing is bi-directional

  • The Elizabeth River

The immersed tube crossing, with a curvilinear alignment, will require dredging the main stem of the Elizabeth River. The tunnel trench will not exceed a depth of 110ft below the water surface, and will be about 46ft wide at the bottom and about 210ft at the top. The majority of more than 1,000,000yd3 of dredged material is anticipated to be deposited in an offshore disposal site.
Currently 120,000 drivers use the tunnels every day. Within the USA, the current Midtown Tunnel is the most heavily travelled road east of the Mississippi River. Since the Midtown Tunnel opened, usage has increased sixfold. The new tunnel will improve safety by eliminating bi-directional traffic in the existing Midtown Tunnel, and reduce what is estimated to be more than 64 million liters of gas that is wasted annually due to congestion. Upon completion of the new Midtown Tunnel, capacity will be doubled, reducing round trip driving times by an estimated 30 minutes; current estimates equate lost time caused by congestion to three work days a year per driver.
References
Midtown P3 contract awarded in Virginia - TunnelTalk, December 2011

           

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