Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Special Reports in Applied Marine Science and Ocean Engineering (SRAMSOE) No. 354


A three-dimensional hydrodynamic-sedimentation computer model, HYSED-3D, was used to evaluate the effect of bridge-tunnel infrastructure for a proposed highway crossing of Hampton Roads on the physical characteristics (tides, currents, circulation, salinity, and sedimentation) of the James River estuary in Virginia. Model-represented infrastructure included tunnel islands and bridges on pilings connecting the islands to interstate highways in Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, and Portsmouth, Virginia. Combinations of these elements occur in each of three proposed crossing routes designated Alternative 1 (Hampton-Norfolk), Alternative 2 (Hampton-Norfolk, Norfolk-Portsmouth), and Alternative 9 (Newport News-Portsmouth-Norfolk). Simulation comparisons were made between the existing waterways and infrastructure in Hampton Roads (Base Case) and the proposed construction in a series of model test runs representing both normal and extreme hydrologic conditions. Variations in tidal range were simulated using a three constituent tide model. Three levels of freshwater inflow into the headwaters of the James River were represented using historical stream gauge data. The simulation of sedimentation was designed based on the existence of a 'turbidity maximum' upstream from the area of concern.


A report to the Virginia Department of Transportation.



Tidal currents -- Virginia -- Hampton Roads (Harbor); Mathematical Models; Salinity; Sediment transport; Erosion