Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel
Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) is the 4.6 mile-long Hampton Roads crossing for Interstate 664. It is a four-lane facility comprised of bridges, trestles, man-made islands, and tunnels under portion of the Hampton Roads harbor where the James, Nansemond, and Elizabeth Rivers come together in South Hampton Roads, in the southeastern portion of Virginia in the United States.
The MMMBT was completed in 1992, provided a second bridge-tunnel crossing of the Hampton Roads harbor, supplementing the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel which carries Interstate 64 between the independent cities of Hampton and Norfolk. Both facilities are toll-free.
The MMMBT cost $400 million to build, and it includes a four-lane tunnel that is 4,800 feet long, two man-made portal islands, and 3.2 miles of twin trestle.
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Battle of Hampton Roads
It is named for the two ironclad warships which engaged in the famous Battle of Hampton Roads on March 8-9, 1862 during the US Civil War. The battle took place between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia. The latter ship had been rebuilt from the wreck of the USS Merrimack. The site of the battle was within approximately 1 mile of the bridge-tunnel structure named by the State of Virginia as a memorial.
Historical names: Merrimack, Virginia, Merrimac
The name of the warship which served the Confederacy in the famous Battle of Hampton Roads eventually became a continuing source of confusion, to the present day.
Of course, she was commissioned by the Confederacy as CSS Virginia. However, even after she was rebuilt, the Union preferred to call the Confederate ironclad warship by its earlier name, Merrimack. Perhaps because the Union won the US Civil War, the history of the United States generally records the Union version wherever there is a discrepancy with Confederate naming. However, in an apparent quirk in history, at some later time, the name commonly used was shortened to drop the final "-k", hence "the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac".
The small community in Montgomery County near the location where the iron for the Confederate ironclad was forged is now known as Merrimac, Virginia. The name of the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, built with both Virginia and federal funds, reflects this more recent version.
Should the periodic modern efforts to recover more of the Confederate vessel from the depths of Hampton Roads prove successful, it is unclear what name will be applied to the remains.
- 2005 Rand McNally "The Road Atlas 2005" – newest feature- interstate mileage by state