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Electrical Upgrade at Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel

A $43.5 million Capital Improvement project to replace 1950s-era electrical switches and feeder cables at the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is set to begin in November.

It will require 21 weekend-long tube closures resulting in one tube (2 lanes) being closed. Two-way traffic will be maintained in the open tube, with one lane in each direction.

Photo of Brooklyn Battery Tunnel

The closures, which begin 10 p.m. on Fridays and reopen at 5 a.m. on Mondays, will not be consecutive, but will occur in a series of phases and be spread out through the end of next year. The first three planned tube closures will occur:

  • Friday, Nov. 11th through Monday, Nov. 14th
  • Friday, Nov. 18th through Monday, Nov. 21st
  • Friday, Dec. 2nd through Monday, Dec. 5th

Motorists are advised to expect delays or use alternate routes during these weekend closures.

The project will replace the tunnel's entire 1950's switchgear and associated electrical feeders. This equipment provides the necessary electrical power to energize the tunnels ventilation, lighting, drainage, communication and other vital systems which are necessary for the continued safe operation of the facility.

Upgrading these components will also provide greater backup emergency generator capabilities that will keep the tunnel well-lighted and safe for customers in the event of a power failure.

The existing medium voltage cables that will be replaced under this project are routed within the concrete walls of the tunnel, necessitating these weekend-long closures.

Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel General Manager Marc Mende said the closures are being closely coordinated with the New York City Department of Transportation to make sure they do not coincide with closures at the Brooklyn Bridge. He also said there will be no closures during Thanksgiving weekend or for the weeks leading up to holidays in December.

The contract was awarded to TAP Electrical Contracting Services of Holbrook, N.Y., in December 2010. The entire project is scheduled for completion in summer 2014.

Signs will be posted in advance of the full weekend tube closures and the information will also be posted on the MTA website. Motorists are urged to sign up for MTA e-mail or text alerts at www.mta.info to learn about planned work at MTA crossings.