Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Moment Back In Time : The Day A Blast Joined Manhattan And Brooklyn Underneath The Waters Of New York Harbor

Brooklyn Battery Tunnel Crews Meet 1948
Photo by Jesse Strait 1948

Battery Tunnel 1948

I just came across this wonderful International News stock photograph taken on September 16, 1948, commemorating the moment when crews working on the Battery Tunnel broke through the last section of rock to join Manhattan and Brooklyn at the mouth of the East River. It was quite an achievement.
The tunnel opened in 1950. It consists of two twin tubes, has four lanes of traffic and at 9,117 feet (2,779 m) and is apparently the longest continuous underway vehicular tunnel in North America. In 2008, 47,515 cars used the tunnel every day.

So, next time you are stuck in traffic in the Battery Tunnel, take a deep breath, relax and think about the men who worked for years under rather difficult condition to connect Brooklyn and Manhattan underwater.

The caption on the photo reads:

The final "Breaking Through" of the rock barrier where the two sections of the Brooklyn-Manhattan Tunnel join underneath the waters of New York Harbor, took place today as a dynamite chrge was uesd to blast a hole through the last few feet of rock separating the two ends of the tunnel. The project whcih has been under construction since 1940, and will cost $77,000,000 is expected to be opened for motor vehicle traffic in 1950. Above, Sam Allen (right) superintendent of the Brooklyn section, shakes hands with Andy Amisano, Assnt. Superintendent of the Manhattan Section, as they reach through the hole caused by the blast.



Batman said...

Probably the worst thing that has ever been done to Red Hook and Carroll Gardens South. At rush hours, we are an on ramp to the tunnel.

The Gowanus Expressway may be a constant blight, but the tunnel makes hours of the day "no walk", "no bike" and "no drive" times.

Anonymous said...

As a society, we are only now coming to realize that "progress" it not always a good thing--that we live more by-way of communities more than we do "progress".
Question is, when will our officials and city planners, employed by our democracy, come around to getting their priorities right?