Hugh L Carey Tunnel & Queens Midtown Tunnel Flood Mitigation

Flood Protection and Resiliency Design for Historic New York Tunnels

Over one hundred thousand people a day travel through New York City’s Hugh L. Carey and Queens Midtown tunnels. At 9,000 linear feet, The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel (formerly the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel connecting the and Manhattan Boroughs) opened in 1950 and remains as the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in North America. After damaging flood waters from 2012 Superstorm Sandy, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA Bridges and Tunnels) sought an integrated resilient design for the tunnels. Flood mitigation strategies not only include the tunnels but also encompassed five ventilation buildings – two in lower Manhattan, one near the Brooklyn portal, another near the Queens portal, and the fifth just off Governors Island, which provides a complete air change in the HLC tunnel every one-and-a-half minutes. The Queens Tunnel (c. 1940), with associated 90-second ventilation buildings, connects the Boroughs of Manhattan and Queens under the same East River waterway.

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