Monday, June 8, 2009

Lincoln Tunnel NYC

Scott D. wrote this post to share with everyone about New York City’s Lincoln Tunnel and a souvenir replica of it:

“With the recent news about pumping up the economy and giving people jobs in “shovel ready” projects we should think back to the time of the depression and the government’s response to rebuilding the nation. The New Deal’s Public Works Administration did just that. One such project was building the Midtown Tunnel, later renamed the Lincoln Tunnel. New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and powerful political leader Robert Moses identified the project as part of a regional development plan and as a depression-era source of employment. By allowing for more car and bus traffic, the Lincoln Tunnel (along with the Holland Tunnel which opened in 1927 and the George Washington Bridge which opening in 1931) reduced residents' dependency on commuter railroads and ferries and promoted the automobile as a central factor in the region's growth. The tunnel was designed by Ole Singstad. The project was funded by the New Deal's Public Works Administration. Construction began on the first tube on May 17, 1934. Workers confronted
claustrophobic and dangerous conditions, including floods and high pressures in a work zone as deep as ninety-seven feet below the river's surface. It opened to traffic in December 1937, charging $0.50 per passenger car. The cost of construction was $75,000,000. Omero C. Catan, a salesman from Manhattan, drove the first car through the tunnel. The original design called for two tubes. The first tube opened on 22 December 1937. Work on the second was halted in 1938 but resumed in 1941. Due to war material shortages of metal, completion was delayed for two years. It opened on February 1, 1945 at a cost of $80 million with Michael Catan, brother of Omero, selected to be the first to lead the public through the tube. The project employed 1,300 WPA workers at an average $1 per hour.A third tube was proposed by the Port Authority due to increased traffic demand, but initially opposed by the City of New York, which was trying to get the Port Authority to help pay for the road improvements that the City would need to handle the additional traffic. Eventually, a compromise was worked out and the third tube opened in May 1957 to the south of the original two tunnels. Although the 3 portals are side by side in New Jersey, in New York City the north tube portal is some two blocks away from the other 2, which are side by side. Lincoln tunnel is the world’s first 3-tube underwater tunnel. The tunnel carries almost 120,000 vehicles per day, making it one of the busiest vehicular tunnels in the world.The miniature Mid-Town Hudson Tunnel Clock is believed to be carved from the same concrete used in the tunnels construction. It also has a working New Haven 8 day clock. The miniature version is 8” high and 6” wide and 3”thick and whole piece is 5lbs! It is thought that this miniature might have been given out to VPs at the ground breaking ceremony as it says the start date of construction and the first name of the tunnel (before it was later changed to the Lincoln Tunnel) Another idea is that it was made by one of the tunnel construction workers. In any case, it’s a fine Art Deco building miniature of a time when America was coming out of the Great Depression. Here is a video which shows why the tunnel was built and how the construction process was very labor intensive and dangerous.” –Scott.

1 comment:

Ajlounyinjurylaw said...

Incredible engineering and a sure way of creating jobs for the people.

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