Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is Now Hugh L. Carey Tunnel

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(photo by Johanna Mayer)

(Johanna Mayer -- New York, NY, WNYC) Legislation passed in 2010, and signs displaying the new name have been up for months. But Monday, it became official: the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is now the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel.

Speaking at the official dedication ceremony, Mayor Bloomberg and former governors Mario Cuomo and David Paterson praised the late governor as someone willing to cross party lines to do what was best for New York.

"Hopefully people won't be stuck in traffic and curse his name, but if they do, I might point out that he and Lincoln--another great man with a tunnel--can look down and share a laugh," said Bloomberg. "Lincoln and Carey--Republican and Democrat--the president who saved the Union and the governor who saved the state."

Carey, who served as governor of New York between 1975 and 1982, is often credited with saving the city from bankruptcy in the 1970s. He also helped create Battery Park City, the Jacob K. Javits Center, and the South Street Seaport.

(photo by Johanna Mayer)

"Collaboration was his strength, and it's a lost art in Washington at this moment," lamented Cuomo. "They can't agree on anything. Carey--if we had Governor Carey now, he could've made a deal."

"I think he's an inspiration to all of us," said Paterson," because in this time of political expediency, he did what was right and did not worry about the consequences for himself."

Carey, a Brooklyn native, died last year at age 92.

Nearly 16.6 million vehicles used the 1.7 mile-long tunnel in 2011. It's the latest piece of the city's transportation infrastructure to be renamed for a former politician. In 2010, the Queensboro Bridge was renamed in honor of former mayor Ed Koch, and in 2008, the Triborough Bridge became the RFK Bridge.