Dominion Boulevard Improvements

Dominion Boulevard is a portion of U.S. Route 17 which runs north/south through Chesapeake, connecting North Carolina with Virginia Interstates 64/464. Improvements to the four-mile stretch were driven by the desire to alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety.

The roadway was widened from two to four lanes, including three new interchanges at major access points. To create this new $400 million corridor, a total of nine bridges and overpasses were constructed, including the two parallel, one-mile long bridges providing 95 feet of clearance over the Elizabeth River. WSP USA was responsible for preliminary and final design services on the project.

As part of WSP’s team, Schnabel provided geotechnical engineering services for preliminary and final design. The subsurface exploration included CPT and DMT soundings, and more than 500 test borings, some of which were performed in difficult river and tidal wetland locations. Geotechnical recommendations addressed mechanically stabilized earth walls, driven pile foundations for the bridges, and the use of pre-fabricated vertical drains, surcharges and pile-supported embankments to accommodate embankment settlements and project schedule constraints.  We also provided geostructural design for the soil nail walls supporting excavation adjacent to bridge abutments where lanes were added.

Our services continued through construction by providing engineering support and review of RFIs and submittals. The planned 48-month construction phase concluded four months ahead of schedule and $20 million under budget.

Dominion Boulevard was awarded the APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter 2017 Project of the Year for excellence in the transportation category for projects exceeding $75 million.

Photos courtesy of WSP USA