As we leave Virginia Beach behind us, we prepare ourselves for a trip across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. In 1964, upon its completion, it was given the distinction of being named as one of the seven engineering wonders of the modern world. It connects the Hampton Roads Area (Consisting of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Portsmouth to name a few) of Virginia to the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland as well as New York and New Jersey. The Bay Bridge Tunnel also provides travelers a peaceful option to the busy Interstate traffic on I-95.
As I look out the window, I notice we are only 30 or 40 feet above the surface of the water. I briefly imagined the drive during a storm or even a hurricane, wondering just how high the ocean swells reach. Out one window lies the peaceful Chesapeake Bay, its natural beauty and thriving wildlife while a glance out of the other window lends view of the powerful Atlantic Ocean. It is just far enough from shore to shore where you cannot see the other side, which creates an interesting image of a bridge going nowhere. The official length from shore to shore is 17.6 miles. If the distance alone does not offer enough time to enjoy the journey, there is a rest area with a shop, a restaurant and a fishing pier.
The reason it is called the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is that there are two segments of the span where the roadway drops below water level down to the floor. Each tunnel is about a mile long and serves as a passing for larger boats including sail boats and cruise ships, as well as the massive Naval Vessels coming out of Naval Station Norfolk.
As we approach the other side, we are treated to one of my favorite sights in life. The sun was preparing to set which left us with a view of the bridge behind us and the light glimmering off of the Bay. This is definitely a trip worth taking someday if you have not yet done so. The beauty alone removes us, though temporarily, from the busy day to day city life and everything that accompanies living in this metropoliptic, Mid-Atlantic Region.