Drivers race in newly opened Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel in 1950. Image via NY Daily News
The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel connecting Brooklyn’s Red Hook to Manhattan’s Battery Park opened on May 25, 1950. Upon its construction, it has been featured in popular movies, served an integral purpose in one of the city’s most dark days, and was even the cause of some destruction itself. This New York City tunnel has been a part of many historic moments, leaving with it some secrets. Here are our top 10 secrets of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.
10. The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is the Longest Underground Tunnel in North America
Manhattan side of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, May 1973. Image via Wikimedia Commons
In the 1950s when the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel was first opened, it was the single longest underground tunnel the world had ever seen. Measuring at a whopping 1.7 miles and containing tubes 31 feet in diameter, the tunnel was designed by the Chief Engineer of New York City at the time, Ole Singstad. The project was ambitious, even by today’s standards, and it accordingly took almost a decade to complete.
Unfortunately, the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel’s title has since been usurped. In 2016, the Gotthard Base Tunnel was opened in Switzerland. Its 35.5 miles of road dwarfed the mere 1.7 miles of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. But we New Yorkers can still brag about having the longest underground tunnel in North America.