3. Robert Moses Hated the Tunnel
Robert Moses with Battery Bridge model. Image via Wikimedia Commons
Robert Moses, the preeminent city planner of New York during the time of the tunnel’s construction, absolutely abhorred the idea of the tunnel. Despite the fact that a bridge would drastically reduce the size of Battery Park (destroying even more area than the neighborhoods the tunnel would already demolish), Moses was adamant that a bridge was the only option.
The general public thought it would be an eyesore on the Manhattan skyline and were displeased with the idea of devoting such a large area of Manhattan to a bridge entrance instead of a livable, walkable, area. Despite all this, Moses refused to budge until President Franklin D. Roosevelt stepped in and told him a tunnel was the only option.
Moses begrudgingly listened, although he demanded the walls be changed to fit his preferred, “safer” finishing on the walls. This finishing lead to massive leakage that was only fixed when the city reverted back to Singstad’s plan (the one Moses insisted on replacing), and one that still works perfectly to this day.