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Hugh L. Carey Tunnel Turns 63

Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel on Brooklyn side circa 1950s
Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel on Brooklyn side circa 1950s

On May 25, 1950, a parade of dignitaries, led by Mayor William O’Dwyer and Robert Moses, head of the newly created Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, traveled by motorcade through the brand new Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and were welcomed on the Manhattan side by a throng of cheering well-wishers.

It took more than 13 million hours and 10 years of labor, including a five-year hiatus caused by World War II, to build the tunnel, which is now called the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel in honor of the late governor.

Take a look at the short video below that uses original film footage from MTA Bridges and Tunnels’ Special Archive, showing construction of the tunnels on both sides and the Governor's Island Vent Building. The original 35mm. film is preserved in a special refrigerator to prevent deterioration.

The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel remains the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in North America, measuring 1.7 miles between portals. Designed by renowned engineer Ole Singstad, the New York City Tunnel Authority began work on the tunnel in October 1940. The project was halted in October 1942 by the federal government because steel, iron and other construction materials were necessary for the war effort.

May 25, 1950 ribbon cutting ceremony
May 25, 1950 ribbon cutting ceremony