The Lincoln Tunnel in New York opened to traffic, passing 1

Wednesday 22nd December 1937

The Lincoln Tunnel in New York opened to traffic, passing 1.5 miles under the Hudson River and connecting Weehawken, New Jersey, and Manhattan in New York City. The tunnel was originally to be named Midtown Vehicular Tunnel, but the planners eventually decided that the new tunnel deserved a name that was of similar importance to that of the George Washington Bridge, and named it after Abraham Lincoln. Designed by Ole Singstad, the tunnel was funded by the New Deal’s Public Works Administration. Construction began on the first tube in March 1934. Toll charges were initially set at $0.50 per passenger care. The cost of construction of the Lincoln Tunnel, which carries a daily average of 108,000 motor vehicles, was $85 million, equal to $1.48 billion today. The original design called for two tubes. 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. A third tube was proposed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 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 on May 25, 1957 to the south of the original two tunnels. Although the three portals are side by side in New Jersey, in New York City the north tube portal is one block west of the other two, which emerge side by side at Tenth Avenue between 38th & 39th Streets.

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