Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Also known as: CBBT
18-mile long bridge-tunnel carrying US-13 across the mouth of Chesapeake Bay between Virginia Beach and Cape Charles, Virginia


Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Elevation of the north channel bridges from the scenic overlook in Cape Charles

Photo taken by Doug Kerr at Flickr



Street Views 


The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is one of longest bridges in the world. The crossing features a 75 foot high-level span over the North Channel, a 40 foot high-level span over Fishermans Inlet, a 5,237 ft. long tunnel beneath Chesapeake Channel, and a 5,552 ft. long tunnel beneath Thimble Shoal Channel.

Tunnels were chosen to cross Thimble Shoal and Chesapeake Channels at the request of the US Navy, who has a major Atlantic fleet based in Norfolk, about 7 miles from the bridge-tunnel. The navy feared that, in the event of war, an enemy might bomb and destroy high-level bridges over the shipping channels, and the wreckage would trap the naval fleet inside the Hampton Roads Harbor.

The original span opened in 1964, with the twin span trestles opening in 1999. Current plans are in place for new parallel tunnels to eliminate the dangerous merging two-way traffic in the current tunnels (funding permitting).

Update Log 

  • June 11, 2018: Added by Brianna Tarness


  • Brianna Tarness - briannatarness82 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Wikimedia Commons - Source of several of the images
  • Wikipedia - More information about the crossing