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Battery Tunnel Renamed For Governor Hugh Carey

MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, past and present elected officials and 27 members of the Carey family attended a ceremony formally renaming the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel in honor of the late Gov. Hugh L. Carey.

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Photo of MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota with members of Carey family.
MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota with members of Carey family.

The event, held on the roadway outside the Manhattan portal of the tunnel on Oct. 22nd, was hosted by Lt. Gov. Duffy. Speakers included Mayor Bloomberg, Michael Carey, son of the late governor, and former Governors David Paterson, who as Governor signed the bill renaming the tunnel in Carey's honor, and Mario Cuomo, who was secretary of state and Lieutenant Governor during the Carey Administration.

"Governor Carey was a friend and a mentor for me in many, many ways," MTA Chairman Lhota said after the ceremony. "When I was New York City Budget Director, he trained me and regaled me with the fiscal crisis, which I think, the lessons he taught me actually made me be a better budget director. I do miss him."

Representing the family, Michael Carey called his father, "a man of faith, family and country," and added, "As proud as we are of all that he accomplished, we are equally humbled by this tribute."

"Governor Carey was a true New Yorker and dedicated public servant who saved our state from the brink of bankruptcy and financial ruin," Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a release formally announcing the name change. "A true son of Brooklyn, it is only fitting that we dedicate one of the borough's most important transportation links to a great leader who was known for his energy, enthusiasm and love of New York and for all New Yorkers."

Carey, who served as the state's 51 st governor between 1975 and 1982, was born in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Among his many achievements, Carey is credited with saving New York City from the 1970s fiscal crisis, helped create Battery Park City, the Jacob K. Javits Center, and the South Street Seaport and developed the "I Love NY" advertising campaign.

The New York State Legislature passed legislation renaming the tunnel in December 2010. Carey, who was ill at the time, passed away Aug. 7, 2011 at age 92.

In a fitting tribute, tenor saxophonist Erik Clarke, a New York City Transit Manager in Subway Division's New Technology Cars, played the "I Love New York" theme song and "New York, New York," a personal favorite of the late Governor's.

The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel opened to traffic on May 25, 1950. Stretching 1.7 miles portal-to-portal it is the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in North America. In 2011, nearly 16.6 million vehicles used the tunnel. There are 183 employees at the tunnel, including officers, sergeants, lieutenants, engineers, maintenance, administrative and supervisory personnel.

Photo of children, grandchildren and great-grandchild of the late governor in front of new Hugh L. Carey sign
Children, grandchildren and great-grandchild of the late governor in front of new Hugh L. Carey sign
Photo of Lt. Governor Robert Duffy, former Governor and current MTA Board Member David Paterson, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
(l to r) Lt. Governor Robert Duffy, former Governor and current MTA Board Member David Paterson, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg