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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) announced yesterday that the New Jersey-bound north tube of the Holland Tunnel is to close six nights a week for post-Hurricane Sandy repairs until 2025. The decision, more than 10 years after the superstorm, will lead to overnight traffic diversions to the nearby Lincoln Tunnel in Hell’s Kitchen as well as the George Washington Bridge and Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.

The Lincoln Tunnel will be busier at night after the Holland Tunnel closures. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The repairs to provide resiliency improvements at the Holland Tunnel began in April 2020, and were originally planned to last four years and cost $364m. The project includes replacements to the structure that suffered salt damage through the flooding in 2012, along with the installation of flood protection, said PANYNY on its website. The story was originally reported by NJ.com.

The weeknight closure schedule from New York to New Jersey will start on February 5, 2023:

  • Sunday night               11:00pm – 5:30am
  • Monday night              11:00pm – 5:30am
  • Tuesday night              11:00pm – 5:30am
  • Wednesday night        11:00pm – 5:30am
  • Thursday night            11:00pm – 5:30am
  • Friday night                 11:59pm – 9:00am
  • Saturday night             No Scheduled Closures 

PANYNJ says that the Sunday night closure may not be required every week. They are offering email alerts for updates about the works and have a construction updates page on their website.

Diversions will be in place from February this year until 2025 as a result of overnight repair work in the Holland Tunnel. Graphic via PANYNJ

Superstorm Sandy hit New York on October 29, 2012. It flooded the Holland Tunnel with an estimated 30 million gallons of water. In the aftermath of the storm, the tunnel was closed to traffic and reopened on November 2, 2012 for buses only, with other vehicles allowed through five days later. The tunnel suffered damage from the Hudson River water to low voltage and medium voltage cables, fire detection and alarm systems, voice communication system and fiber optic cables, and pump room equipment and controls, said PANYNJ.

The Holland Tunnel opened in 1927 and is 1.6 miles long. When it opened, it was the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in the world, according to Wikipedia. It was originally known as the Hudson River Vehicular Tunnel or the Canal Street Tunnel, being renamed the Holland Tunnel in memory of Clifford Milburn Holland, the chief engineer, following his sudden death in 1924 before the tunnel was opened.

The announcement came before the issue could be discussed at the Manhattan Community Board 4 (MCB4) Transportation Committee this evening. PANYNJ is first on the agenda to make a presentation “on Holland Tunnel night closure impacts.” Hell’s Kitchen neighbors can register to talk at the meeting which will be held on Zoom from 6:30pm (Wednesday, January 18, 2023).

MCB4 Chair Jeffrey LeFrancois, who is also a member of the Transportation Committee, told us this morning that he “personally wasn’t aware” of the overnight closures — but knew that PANYNJ would be making a presentation this evening. “As an 11th Avenue resident, I’ll let you know if there’s an uptick in traffic and honking, which is the most chronic and annoying of all the problems that come from the tunnels and an over-reliance on cars from people from New Jersey,” he said.

Work has been underway on repairs to the Holland Tunnel since 2020. Photo via PANYNJ

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