Meet Chessie

There’s a legend of a sea monster who is said to live deep in the Chesapeake Bay. The long, snake-like creature has been referred to as “Chessie” by the sailors who have claimed to have spotted the monster.

Now, the name “Chessie” will be used to refer to the 325-foot long tunnel boring machine that will dig its way through the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT) and its partners on the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel Project held a contest to name the machine that will help create a new, two-lane tunnel under Thimble Shoal Channel.

Nandua Middle School Student Grace Bentley submitted the name “Chessie.” The name was a natural choice because of the old legend and the popularity of the name in the region.

The second place name was “Bessy the Boring Bufflehead” submitted by Caleb McIntyre from Broadwater Academy and the third place name was “Ms. Taylor” submitted by Shania Finley of Kiptopeke Elementary School.

The name will be displayed on the side of the machine during the launching ceremony slated for 2019.

A review committee made up of representatives from the project partners selected the 10 top names out of more than 120 entries received from sixth grade students from all over Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore.

The entries were made available for the public to vote on their favorite from Monday, April 2 to Friday, April 13.

“Every student who participated in this naming contest is to be commended, as their entries expressed a lot of thought and creativity,” stated Jeff Holland, Executive Director for the CBBT in a press release. “The Commission extends congratulations to the winners and we appreciate the excellent effort invested by all students to take part in this unique opportunity. We look forward to the students, teachers, and their classes continuing to follow the progress of this tunnel project until it is completed.”