Hampton Roads Region, Virginia

The Hampton Roads Region of Virginia has long been an important site for the U.S. armed forces, as during the Civil War, the Hampton Roads waterway was the site of the first battle between two ironclad ships, the Monitor and the Merrimac. In addition, the first naval action of the War of 1812 took place in the waters of Hampton Roads, when a Royal Naval ship was seized by American privateers. Today, Hampton Roads remains a significant site for the U.S. Navy, as the world’s largest naval station, the Naval Station Norfolk, is located in Norfolk, Virginia, near the center of this region. Of the twenty-seven bases for the armed forces located in Virginia, this region contains fourteen of them, with bases for the Army, the Navy, the Coast Guard, and the Air Force, as well as a support base at which Marine Corps personnel are stationed.
Because this region contains a number of bases for the various branches of the military, it was important to be able to transport supplies or troops from any direction, resulting in the spiderweb pattern visible on the map, which centers on the city of Norfolk. In order to ensure that the military could get anywhere within the region quickly, there are five different interstate highways in the network, as well as five different U.S. highways, including Route 13, which runs from North Carolina to Pennsylvania.
In addition to the complex network of highways, the Virginia General Assembly constructed the 17.6 mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to connect the Hampton Roads Region with the Delmarva Peninsula, offering a quick route between the two. Originally, the government had considered a bridge high off the water, but concerns of the base in Norfolk being cut off if the bridge collapsed forced the government to make it into a bridge-tunnel system. The CBBT is one of only ten bridge-tunnel systems in the world, with two of the remaining nine also being located in the region. The Hampton Roads region has always been an extremely important location for the U.S. military, especially the Navy, and the ease of transportation around the area almost ensures that it will continue to be an important location for years to come.

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