New York City (NYC)
Brooklyn-Battery-Hugh L Carey Tunnel (1950)
The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, officially known as the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, was first proposed as early as 1929, when city planners first became concerned over the increasing traffic on the Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. The construction of the Brooklyn Batter Tunnel was delayed until the 1940s because of various difficulties concerning the funding and the future of the project. In the original proposals, the tunnel would connect the West Side Highway in Manhattan and the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn, through a three-tube, six lane tunnel. In 1930, this proposal was approved by then Mayor of New York, Fiorello LaGuardia. However, the worsening economic depression of the 1930’s, greatly delayed the project. The city government had only just recently finished the construction of the Queens-Midtown project, and had used up to $105 million on the project; the PWA (Federal Public Works Administration) was unwilling to fund the project. As a last resort to secure financing for the Brooklyn-Battery, LaGuardia approached the Triborough Bridge Authority which was headed by Robert Moses at the time. The Triborough Bridge authority had generated enough surplus funds to be able to support the costs of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel; however, as part of the deal for funding the project LaGuardia had to grant the control of the New York City Tunnel authority to Robert Moses.
Robert Moses' vision for the Brooklyn-Battery project was controversial at the time because of his desire to build a six lane, twin suspension bridge instead of a tunnel. Robert Moses believed that building a bridge would be much more cost effective in the long run, and wanted to appease the interests of the bankers who would help in financing this project. However, opposition to Robert Moses proposal for the Brooklyn-Battery Bridge came swiftly form New York City's business and political establishments, as well as the Regional Plan Association (RPA). Many feared that property values of the neighborhoods surrounding the bridge would drop dramatically. People were equally concerned about the destruction of Battery Park that would become inevitable if the construction of the bridge was approved. Opposition to Robert Moses' plan for the project even came from as high as Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. In July of 1939, the proposal was finally shut down by the secretary of war, Harry Woodring, on the grounds that the proposed bridge would block access to the Brooklyn Navy Yards. Finally in 1940, the construction of the tunnel began under the supervision of Ole Singstad. The project was again delayed in 1943 because of with World War II steel and iron shortages. Construction resumed in 1945, and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel was completed in 1950. The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel cost $90 million to build, and is still the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in the world, measuring 9,117 ft. in length. Aided by 104 motors, a total of 53 fans pump 6,152,000 cubic feet of fresh air into the tunnel, these fans have the ability to completely replace the air inside the tunnels within 90 minutes.
During the first month of its operation, the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel carried approximately 41,000 vehicles a day; today it carries approximately 60,000 vehicles per day. Today both the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and the Queens Midtown Tunnel generate one third of the revenue for the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. In 2001, after the 9/11 attacks, the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel was closed for more than two months, and only served emergency vehicles.
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Lincoln Tunnel Holland Tunnel Queens Midtown