Brooklyn Battery Tunnel

Transportation Nation

VIDEO: Drying Out the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One tube of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (now known as the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel) is now open to traffic, and New York's MTA has released a video of the recovery process.

Hurricane Sandy flooded the tunnel with millions of gallons of sea water "from floor to ceiling," according to New York Governor Cuomo. (Exactly how much water isn't clear. Earlier reports said the tunnel had taken on 43 million gallons; in the above video, the tunnel's manager, Marc Mende, says the tunnel was flooded with 80 million gallons. Whatever the amount, you can see footage of water in the tunnel at about 38 seconds in -- and it's daunting.)

That was a new experience for the MTA's tunnel employees. "We've never had a leak," said Mende. "We never had a puddle. The only water we ever had in this tunnel came off of vehicles."

The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel remained completely closed to traffic for over two weeks while workers pumped out the water and repaired electrical, lighting, communications, surveillance, and ventilation systems. Cuomo says it will another "few weeks" before the second tube is open.

Here's the scene, after Sandy:

Mouth of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, after Sandy (MTA photo)


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Transportation Nation

Crucial East River Tunnel In NYC Now Half-Open

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

NY Governor Cuomo, NY MTA Chief Joe Lhota and US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announce partial opening of Hugh Carey Tunnel in NYC. (photo by Jim O'Grady)

(New York, NY - WNYC) Cars can now use one of the two tubes of the Hugh Carey Tunnel, formerly the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, in New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who held a press conference at the mouth of the tunnel with NY MTA chief Joe Lhota and US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, said crews have worked around the clock to repair Sandy damage.

"When you saw this tunnel just a week ago, it was filled with water floor to ceiling," he recalled. "It defied belief, what was in this tunnel. And now 15 days later, one of the tubes will open."

Cuomo said both tubes of the 1.7 mile tunnel--the longest vehicular under-river crossing in North America--were flooded with 43 million gallons of debris-laden seawater that damaged electrical, lighting, communications, surveillance and ventilation systems.

The eastern tube -- the one usually dedicated to vehicles traveling from Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan -- is now open to Brooklyn-bound cars and buses for the evening commute from 3 pm to 7.  Friday morning, it will be open for Manhattan-bound traffic during the morning rush between 6 and 10. No trucks are allowed for now.

The governor said the western tunnel suffered worse damage and will not be open for another "few weeks." With both tubes in operation, the tunnel normally carries 50,000 vehicles on an average weekday.

Cuomo is asking the federal government for $30 billion in disaster aid, including $3.5 billion to repair the metropolitan area's bridges, tunnels and subway and commuter rail lines. That request is pending. In the meantime, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is pitching in with $10 million from the highway trust fund.

At the press conference, LaHood explained: "I’m here because the president has said to us, 'Get to New York. Do what you can, when you can do it, as often as you can do it. Take your cues form the governor.'" He said the $10 million request was approved in two hours, before implying that President Obama will come bearing many more relief funds when he visits New York on Thursday.

When a reporter asked the governor whether the U.S. Department of Transportation could cover the whole price tag for the state's recovery from Sandy, Cuomo deadpanned to LaHood, "You don’t have $30 billion dollars, do you?" The answer was, no.

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Transportation Nation

Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is Now Hugh L. Carey Tunnel

Monday, October 22, 2012

(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.

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Transportation Nation

Koch Feelin' Groovy Over Queensboro Bridge Name Change

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

(Alex Gorzen via Wikimedia Commons)

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Ed Koch is getting a 1,400 foot-long present for his 86th birthday. Mayor Bloomberg is planning to propose renaming the Queensboro Bridge after the former mayor at Koch's birthday party tonight.

Koch said that he was delighted, grateful and surprised when he got Mayor Bloomberg's phone call telling him the news late Tuesday afternoon. Moreover, Koch thinks it’s a good fit.

“There are other bridges that are much more beautiful, like the George Washington or the Verrazano,” he said, “but this more suits my personality because it's a workhorse bridge. I mean, it's always busy, it ain't beautiful, but it's durable.”

Read the story over at WNYC.

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