Brooke Grow 757-925-1515


April 15, 2011

Lighting system upgrade improves safety for motorists

HAMPTON– The I-64 East Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) Lighting System Upgrade, requiring alternating lane closures in the eastbound tube for nearly 24 months, is complete - on time, within budget, and just in time for tourist season. The upgrade to the lighting system began in August 2009.


While driving through the HRBT, motorists will notice lights that are nearly three times brighter - illuminating the tunnel more efficiently, while improving the transition zone:  the time needed for the eyes to adjust to lighting changes.  Tunnel effect, a phrase used to describe motorists who brake unnecessarily when entering a tunnel because of light adjustment, should decrease as a result of the new lighting system, greatly enhancing motorist safety.   The automated lighting controls, another upgrade to the lighting system, will regulate lighting levels within the tunnel, more effectively adjusting the tunnel lights to the ambient light outside the tube.


The new lighting system, recommended by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), consists of a combination fluorescent and high pressure sodium wall mounted system. These high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps provide the highest efficacy in areas where lights are illuminated for long periods of time, while providing the longest service life of any lighting type.


The project, completed by Dorey Electric Company through a contract award of $8.3 million, included replacing the conduit and electrical cables on interior tunnel walls, as well as the removal and disposal of the existing system. 


For current traffic and travel information, motorists can visit 511, call 511 or the Traffic Information Line at 757-361-3016 or listen to Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) at 610 on the AM dial.


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012