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new-york-city-lincoln-tunnel_DSC0398The Lincoln Tunnel Image via prophotography101.com

Opening to traffic for the first time in 1937, the Lincoln Tunnel connecting Weehawken, New Jersey to Midtown Manhattan was hailed as the next great engineering triumph. The New Deal’s Public Work’s Administration provided funds for its construction in 1934, fresh off the success of the northern Holland Tunnel, the first mechanically ventilated underwater automobile tunnel to be built under the Hudson River. A second tube was built shortly after the Lincoln Tunnel’s first, with a third requested due to increasing traffic built in the late 50s. To this day, the three tunnels service hundreds of thousands of cars and buses coming in and out of New York City.

Many commuters today write it off as a nuisance, but like many old things in the city, the Lincoln Tunnel has its share of secrets. As The New York Times calls for new Hudson River tunnels to be built, we gathered our favorite 10 fun facts about the Lincoln Tunnel:

10. The Tunnel Is One of the Busiest Roadways in the Country

lincoln tunnel traffic-Untapped Cities-NYCInbound traffic on the New Jersey side. Image via myhomeimprovement.org

The numbers themselves are quite staggering. The Tunnel is 1.5 miles long, 95 feet underwater at its deepest point, and cost about $1.5 billion to build, adjusting for inflation. On average, it sees upwards of 120,000 cars passing through every day, making it one of the busiest roadways in the country. The Tunnel’s separate bus lane sees about 1,700 buses every morning, primarily bringing its 62,000 commuters to the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd Street.

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3 Comments

  1. mike Dewitt says:

    First trip to Jersey and nyc and found the lincoln tunel to be simply amazing.

  2. Dave says:

    Chief Engineer of design, Ole Singstad. He also designed the Queens Mid-Town Tunnel, Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the 178th and 179th Street tunnels that were used for the GWB before the Lower Roadway was built.

  3. Dennis Harper says:

    I remember the elephants had no trouble walking from the Lincoln tunnel to the Garden. They’re accustomed to being in busy surroundings, besides it was early AM hours. They did have a few cops provide an official escort. It made for interesting news photos for the morning papers.

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