Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Gov. Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, formerly known as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, will reopen for limited rush-hour bus service Monday morning.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) express buses from Brooklyn and Staten Island will be able to use one lane of one tube for inbound service from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and for outbound service from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The tunnel will remain closed at other times as crews continue their round-the-clock work to repair extensive flooding damage.
I saw first-hand the flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy in the Carey Tunnel, and its reopening is a testament to the hard work of MTA workers in the storms aftermath, Governor Cuomo said. The closed tunnel was an inconvenience to New York commuters, and its reopening marks another step in our work to restore vital transportation infrastructure as quickly as possible following Hurricane Sandy.
The Carey Tunnel flooded during Hurricane Sandy with an estimated 43 million gallons of water in each of its two tubes. The salt water caused extensive corrosion damage to the electrical, lighting, communications, surveillance and ventilation systems in each tunnel.
Express buses will be able to use one lane of the eastern tube, which usually carries Manhattan-bound traffic. The other lane of that tube is being used to stage repair and recovery equipment. Lighting in the tube will be limited and will be supplemented with emergency illumination.
The western tube, which usually carries Brooklyn-bound traffic, suffered more extensive damage and is still being emptied of water in air ducts below the roadway surface. No timetable is available for reopening the western tube.
The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel is the longest under-river vehicular tunnel in North America, and no one has ever faced a challenge like this, said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. It was filled floor to ceiling for more than a mile with water and debris. The fact that it is now ready for limited commuter service is a testament to the skill and dedication of our hard-working MTA Bridges and Tunnels employees.