• Use the images on this page to start drawing or coloring your own idea for what a high-rise bridge over Hampton Roads would look like.

• Mail or e-mail your bridge images by April 30:

Daily Press, c/o Dave Schleck, Deputy Features Editor

7505 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, Va. 23607


• We'll publish some of the images soon in the Daily Press and at dailypress.com.

NOTES: We will not return the images to you. They become property of the Daily Press. And this is just for fun. We're not passing your ideas along to decision-makers. You'll have to do that part yourself.

Think about it...

The amazing high-rise bridge over Hampton Roads may be a pie-in-the-sky idea, but it's just plain fun to imagine.

The view would be stunning from a 200-foot tall trestle above the 3.5-mile-wide waterway known as Hampton Roads. Allow your creativity to run wild and picture gondola cars rolling commuters from Hampton and Norfolk. Paint the trestle pink, and put a "Virginia is for Lovers" heart symbol on top.

The former head of the state transportation department recently proposed a new bridge to local lawmakers brainstorming for solutions to our traffic crisis. It's just an idea, he said, but it could be built over the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel — tall enough to allow Navy ships to pass underneath.

Well, you've had plenty of time to think about traffic alternatives as you're stuck a jam on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel — now it's time to put pen (or crayon or pencil) on paper.

Draw your own solution right here, and send it to the Daily Press.

You know the story...

State legislators have been working for years to solve traffic congestion in Hampton. But we're still stuck watching the sea gulls poop on our cars as we crawl along.

The hard facts: the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel handled 6,000 vehicles a day in 1958 when it was a two-lane highway and now carries 88,000 to 100,000 as a four-lane system.

Fixing our overall traffic mess in Hampton Roads will cost billions of dollars. To pay for it all, various people have tried and failed to raise taxes, reinstitute tolls and increase traffic violator fees.

One idea, called the "Third Crossing" by some, is to build several spurs and additions onto the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel. But that's more of a regional solution — miles south of our most infamous local choke points on Interstate 64 in Hampton and Norfolk.

So, some legislators are trying to draw the focus more to the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.

...Now draw a solution!

Sweep the cost and politics aside and just imagine what your solution would look like.

Would a new bridge literally look like a pie in the sky — its creamy center overflowing onto Hampton Roads? Would it include a saltier version of the Polar Express, a train winding its way from Hampton to Norfolk? How about some helicopter pads on either side of the panel.

Use the images on this page as a starting point. Draw your bridge (or two), then mail your image to the Daily Press by April 30. We'll publish some of your work in May.

Take a wildly imaginative approach, or stick to a realistic mind-set. We don't care.

Most important thing — have fun!