|Congratulations to our winners!
Ryan J. Murphy Barbara Murphy
Sandy Thompson Patti Kaliher
Virginia Brondum Rick Mackinney
Evan Hindman Debbie Sterbinsky
Alice Hix Mary Fraser
Richard Roof Alan Cullinan
Grace Hertz Theresa White
Mike Pfister Anna Farris
Ruth Govorchin Bill Hurley
Marty Guidry Dale Niesen
Jim Colvin Lynda Snider
Elaine C. Hebert Kitty Huddleston
Joel Amos Gordon Ruth Jenkins
Rick Norman Judy Pfaff
Loren Godburn Mary South
Fred Stuart Walter Wood
Stan Read Don Schulteis
Mark D. (It really wasn't cheating) Brzys
If your name has been omitted from our list of winners, please let me know. It was unintentional.
Well it sure will fool the spacemen when they see cars coming out of the ocean.
My g-grandfather, James C. Long was on the Merrimac at the time of the famous
battle. Grace Hertz
I think it's pretty cool really that the entire world thinks this bridge is somewhere else
and it's right in Virginia. It's a great bridge regardless of where it is.
I figured you were being tricky!! It threw me for a loop when I was finding the same
photo, but two different bridges. When I did my initial Google images on "tunnel bridge
combination", I found one site (http://www.snopes.
com/photos/architecture/bridgetunnel.asp) that said that the other site was in error. I
went to Google Earth and was looking at the satellite images and the Chesapeake
road/terminal was a match. It is interesting how an incorrectly identified photo can
multiply on the web and fiction starts to look like fact.
I grew up in Newport News but moved away before this bridge tunnel was built...so
have not crossed this one. I remember the days when we had to ride the ferry to get to
Norfolk/Portsmouth/Virginia Beach. Then the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel opened and
that was a marvel. Alice Hix
Hilarious!! A good lesson in not assuming you know the answer...good for my Dad
[who got it right]!! And one of my sisters lives in Virginia...she was here for a week &
flew out yesterday - should've run it by her before answering too quickly!!
As a side note, when my husband and I lived in Virginia for three months way back in
1973, he wanted to take a Sunday drive on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, but
because I was so terrified of water and bridges, I nixed that idea!
Fast forward to 1996, and we're on a family vacation with our three children (at that
time aged 19, 14, 9 and myself at age 45). Our main trip was to Washington, DC, and
then on to Mount Vernon and Monticello, with a plan to drop down to Jamestown,
Yorktown and Williamsburg.
My husband mentioned that taking the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel would save us a
helluva lot of time - and the kids thought the idea of a bridge-tunnel was fascinating (as
it is, unless you have a fear of water and bridges). So, against my better judgement, I
said "yes" AND proceeded to ride shotgun in our van (not a minivan, but a full size van)
- sitting up nice and high with a marvelous view!
Well, I did okay on the "bridge" part (much like the Causeway on Lake Pontchartrain -
which by the way, I can barely get across if I'm driving alone, with white knuckles on
the steering wheel and praying every inch of the way), but as we say the road up ahead
starting to dip down into the water - well, there's no easy way to say this - I totally
I started hyperventilating, unbuckled myself, climbed over all the seats (and my 19-year-
old daughter and my 9-year-old son), all the way to the last bench in the back of the
van with my 14-year-old daughter - by this time reduced to tears. My husband is angry
as all get out for getting the kids upset (although I think my daughters thought I was
being foolish, and my son was giggling - so I think the only person upset was myself) -
and then he was urging me back to my seat to help navigate the streets of Virginia once
we got off the bridge.
But, there was no way for me to be coaxed back to the front of the van, so our oldest
daughter climbed in the front seat and got us to Virginia Beach so that we could all
wade in the Atlantic Ocean - which I enjoyed, but didn't go deeper than my calves!!
Anyway, that's my story - interesting experience - one that I NEVER need to do again!!
Elaine C. (Never Again!) Hebert
I thought at first it was the bridge/tunnel over the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia but it did
not match. I did a number of searches and found this darn image listed over and over
as being in Sweden . I researched the Oresund link and knew that the image was not
of that tunnel but thought perhaps it was a smaller section of the link not photographed
often. I had to get going to a pet expo so gave up. This was a very good test and I
failed by not following my first hunch that it was in the US and it was a trick question.
My hat is off to you this was an outstanding example of what not to do. Thank you
for keeping us “quizzies” on our toes. Dale Neisen
Just as there are bridges that go
under water and bridges that go
over water, there are water
bridges that go over water.
This is a channel-bridge over the
River Elbe and joins the former
East and West Germany, as part
of the unification project. It is
According to Snopes, the well-known urban legends reference page, (see
This is a case where a photograph of a remarkable object is real enough, but someone
has mistakenly placed the subject nearly half a world away from its true location.
The structure pictured above is genuine, but it's nowhere near Scandinavia. It is
actually the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel (MMMBT), a 4.6 mile long
combination bridge-tunnel system (named for the two ironclad ships that fought in the
Hampton Roads harbor during the Civil War) connecting two Virginia communities
across the mouth of the James River.
According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDoT), the MMMBT
incorporates many technological features to provide motorists with a safe and smooth
driving experience, including:
- Traffic flow is monitored from a traffic management center where employees keep
an eye on operations through 33 closed-circuit television cameras. Incidents can be
detected immediately and assistance dispatched from two emergency response garages.
- Seventy-two sensors in the pavement of the tunnel and approach bridges
automatically check every 20 seconds for interruptions in traffic flow. In the event of
an incident, motorists are advised of alternate routes via 32 electronic message signs
activated immediately from the traffic management center.
- While traveling through the Monitor Merrimac, motorists do not lose their favorite
local radio station while in the tunnel. A communications system rebroadcasts all local
AM and FM radio stations. In the event of an emergency, tunnel staff can override
these broadcasts with emergency information motorists receive through their vehicle's
radio without changing stations.
Naval history was made on March 8,
1862, when the first Confederate ironclad
steamed down the Elizabeth River into
Hampton Roads to attack the
woodensided U.S. blockading fleet
anchored there. Built on the hull of the
U.S.S. Merrimac (which had been
scuttled and burned when the Federals
abandoned the Gosport Navy Yard in
April, 1861), the new warship had been
christened C.S.S. Virginia, but in
common usage retained its original name.
After ramming and sinking the
steam-sailing sloop Cumberland, the
Merrimac headed for the fifty-gun frigate
Congress. An awestruck Union officer
watched the one-sided fight as the
Merrimac fired "shot and shell into her
with terrific effect, while the shot from
the Congress glanced from her
iron-plated sloping sides, without doing
any apparent injury."
The results of the first day's fighting at
Hampton Roads proved the superiority of
iron over wood, but on the next day iron
was pitted against iron as the U.S.S.
Monitor arrived on the scene. It was just
in time to challenge the Merrimac, which
was returning to finish off the U.S.
blockading squadron. The Confederate
|This is an example of how even the Quizmaster of All Quizmasters can learn a lesson or
two! I believed the picture to be of the Oresund Tunnel-Bridge connecting Denmark
and Sweden, but you guys certainly straightened me out on this one. Many of you
have crossed this tunnel-bridge, and some of you have even lived in the area.
I know I can be tricky. But in this case, I didn't mean to mislead our readers in asking
what country was on the other side.
For more information on this mistake, see
In a word, "Oops!" Colleen
|Answer to Quiz #86 - November 17, 2006
|There is traffic going in both directions on this bridge.
1. How do the cars get to the other side and back if
there is no bridge in the middle of the water?
2. What body of water does the bridge span?
3. Which country is on the other side?
If you need a hint, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at CFitzp@aol.com. If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
your picture. You will also receive a free Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10%
discount towards the purchase of the Forensic Genealogy book.
|Thanks for Edee Scott for suggesting this quiz. Click on thumbnail to see larger image.
The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel goes underwater.
The James River
Newport News, Virginia, U.S.
|Quiz Tip: Look at each tunnel using Google Earth and compare it to Quiz Photo.
Interstate 664 is the 20.7-mile-long freeway that
connects I-64 in Hampton to I-64/I-264 in Chesapeake,
completed in April 1992. I-664 includes the 4.6-mile
Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT).
The MMMBT cost $400M 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. The name
comes from the fact that the duel between the two Civil
War ironclads was fought less than a mile from the
where the tunnel is today.
Building the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial
Bridge-Tunnel, Daily Press, Newport News, April 28,
On-site construction of the bridge-tunnel began
September 3, 1985, with the construction of the two
islands. The north island is not really an island. It is
connected to the southern tip of Newport News. Bridge
construction from the Suffolk side began on February
13, 1986, and the first of 15 tube sections were placed
March 30, 1988. The tunnel is made up of 15 300-foot
sections which were placed between March 1988 and
June 1989 at roughly the rate of one per month.
Construction began with sections 15, 14 and 13 from
the Newport News side followed by sections 1, 2 and 3
from the Suffolk side. Section 4 was the last one put in
place. The islands required 1.8 million cubic yards of
backfill which were hauled from Richmond and almost
1 million tons of stone, brought from Maryland.
|Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel
|Comments from Our Readers
Capt. Newport was the name of the ship captain that brought the first settlers and
supplies to Jamestown in 1607 and continued to supply the colony for several years.
However the winter of 1609-1610 was very harsh. Most of the settlers died and the
colony had not been resupplied in a long while due to stormy weather at sea. Finally the
remaining colonists decided to abandon the colony and return to England. As they were
sailing down the James River, they met a lead ship telling them that Capt. Newport was
at Point Comfort (Hampton today) bringing fresh settlers and supplies to replenish the
colony. With that news, the ship turned around and went back to Jamestown and the
colony survived. Thus it was off of this piece on land on the lower James that the
colonists received the 'Newport News'. Alice Hix
|Ever Wonder Why the Town is Called Newport News?
|Sailors on the Deck of the
Monitor Ironclad Battleship
ironclad carried more guns than the Union Monitor, but it was slow, clumsy, and prone
to engine trouble. The Union prototype, as designed by John Ericsson, was the faster
and more maneuverable ironclad, but it lacked the Rebel vessel's brutish size and
power. The Merrimac's officers had heard rumors about a Union ironclad, yet,
according to Lieutenant Wood: "She could not possibly have made her appearance at a
more inopportune time for us...... Lieutenant S. Dana Greene, an officer aboard the
Monitor, described the first exchange of gunfire: "The turrets and other parts of the
ship were heavily struck, but the shots did not penetrate; the tower was intact, and it
continued to revolve. A look of confidence passed over the men's faces, and we
believed the Merrimac would not repeat the work she had accomplished the day
before." Neither ironclad seriously damaged the other in their one day of fighting,
March 9, 1862 though the Merrimac was indeed prevented from attacking any more of
the Union's wooden ships. A new age of naval warfare had dawned.
To read a contemporary account of the Battle of the Ironclads, please see the article
published in the Civil War Harper's Weekly, Saturday, March 22, 1862 at
located in the city of Magdeburg, near Berlin. The photo was taken on the day of
To those who appreciate engineering projects, here’s a puzzle for you armchair
engineers and physicists. Did that bridge have to be designed to withstand the
additional weight of ship and barge traffic, or just the weight of the water?
Answer: It only needs to be designed to withstand the weight of the water! Why? A ship
always displaces an amount of water that weighs the same as the ship, regardless of
how heavily a ship may be loaded.
Remember your high school physics, and the fly in an enclosed bottle project?
Similarly, the super sensitive scale proved that it didn’t make any difference whether
the fly was sitting on the bottom, walking up the side, or flying around. The bottle, air,
and fly were a single unit of mass and always weighed the same.
Of course, for this to make sense, the water that the boat displaces has to be pumped
out of the channel. The bridge will have to carry the same weight with or without the
boat as long as the displaced water is removed. If not, the bridge must support the
original weight of the water plus the additional weight of the boat.