5. The Queens Midtown Tunnel Has Only Experienced One Major Renovation Since Opening

Queens Midtown Tunnel
Image via Flickr: MTA Bridges and Tunnels / Mark Valentin

Aside from minor upgrades to add brighter lighting and a new ceiling, the Queens Midtown Tunnel has not required major rehabilitation work since President Roosevelt broke ground for the project in 1936. That was until October 2012, when Hurricane Sandy hit the New York metropolitan region, submerging 40 percent of the tunnel. The saltwater that flooded inside damaged the tunnel’s fixtures, including its lighting, traffic lights, signals.
Ten days after the storm, the tunnel reopened with full vehicle traffic access. According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, however, lingering repairs are still taking place. To carry out the restoration work, MTA Bridges and Tunnels was awarded a 4-year and $236.5 million contract in 2015.