The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel: An Overview

Topics: Hampton Roads, Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, Newport News, Virginia Pages: 3 (951 words) Published: October 17, 2006
The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) is one the three major highway bridge-tunnel facilities in Virginia. A bridge-tunnel is a facility where a bridge transitions into a man-made portal island. A bridge tunnel is used in Virginia because of the wide of water located there, which makes an all tunnel route extremely expensive. The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel is one of the largest, unknown water-crossing facilities in the world.

The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel is named after the two ironclad warships, which engaged in the Battle of Hampton Roads that took place in 1862, during the Civil War. This battle was fought between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia. The later ship was rebuilt from the wreck of the USS Merrimack. The USS Merrimack was commissioned by the Confederacy as CSS Virginia. But even after she was rebuilt, the Union wanted to continue to call her by her original name, Merrimack. Because the Union won the Civil War, US history records the Union version of the name wherever it is mistaken with the Confederate name. During a later time in history, the name was shortened, by dropping the "k" which made it, "The Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac." The community in Montgomery County, near the area where the iron for the Confederate ironclad was forged is now known as Merrimac, Virginia. This is how the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel got its name (Monitor).

The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel is a four lane facility made up of bridges, man-made islands, trestles, and tunnels under a portion of the Hampton Roads harbor. It is 4.6 miles in length and is located in South Hampton Roads, Virginia where the James, Nansemond, and Elizabeth Rivers combine. The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel is a part of the Hampton Roads Beltway and connects the cities of Newport News, located on the Virginia Peninsula and Suffolk, located in South Hampton Roads.

Hampton Roads makes "V" shape on the...

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