Monday, December 27, 2010

The Lincoln Tunnel

In 1937, the Lincoln Tunnel in New York opened to traffic, passing 1.5 miles under the Hudson River and connecting Weehawken, N.J., and Manhattan in New York City. The Tunnel was designed by Othmar H. Ammann, designer of many of the 20th century's greatest bridges including several in New York.

Construction on the Tunnel, which runs under the Hudson River and connects New York's Manhattan with New Jersey's Weehawken, began in 1934 and cost $75,000,000. In its first year of service the Tunnel didn't experience a great deal of use, and just 1.8 million cars passed through the 8,200-foot Tunnel or 3.5 cars per minute. An explanation for this fact was certainly that there weren't nearly as many cars in the 1930s, and the arrival of the Second World War, limited resources and a rationing cut into the overall traffic, as well.

The case is altogether different today with Tunnel traffic. Two more lanes were opened in 1945, with another two built and pressed into service a dozen years later. As part of I-495, the Lincoln Tunnel regularly sees more than 120,000 cars pass through each day or 83.3 cars per minute.

A second tube of the Lincoln Tunnel to the north of the first was opened on 1 Feb 1945, and a third tube was added south of the first on 25 May 1957, making it the world's only three-tube underwater tunnel for vehicles.

Hubba, Hubba

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