VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Construction continues on a new parallel tunnel for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

The total cost of the project is around $756 million, with a completion date of December 2026, per CBBT spokesman Thomas Anderson in an update on Monday.

A recent Facebook post from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel showed a sneak peak of Chessie, the tunnel boring machine that’s now making her way under the bay.

Chessie began her initial excavation at One Island, the CBBT’s southernmost island, back in February and will now place 9,000 tunnel segments to complete the one-mile Thimble Shoal tunnel, which will run parallel to the existing tunnel.

It’s expected to take around 12-14 months for Chessie to complete her one-mile dig to Two Island, where crews are working on the receiving pit for Chessie and the support of excavation.

Currently, traffic inside the both of the CBBT’s Thimble Shoal (on the Virginia Beach side) and Chesapeake Channel (Eastern Shore side) tunnels is two-way.

But at the completion of the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel Project, the existing Thimble Shoal tunnel will carry two lanes of northbound traffic, while the new tunnel running parallel will have two lanes going southbound.

CBBT officials are also planning to eventually have a parallel tunnel for the Chesapeake Channel Tunnel. That’s estimated to start in the mid 2030s, Anderson said.

To learn more about the project, click here.