Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel

Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel

For|the original subway tunnel to Brooklyn, sometimes called the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel in the early days [CityClub of New York, [ New York City Transit: A Memorandum Addressed to the Public Service Commission of the First District] , 1907] |Joralemon Street TunnelInfobox_Bridge
bridge_name= Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel

caption= Manhattan portal
carries= 4 lanes of I-478
crosses= East River
locale= Manhattan, New York and Brooklyn, New York
maint= Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority
length= 2,778.86 m (9,117 feet)
clearance=12 feet 1 inch (3.7 m)
traffic= 52,400 [cite web | url= | accessdate=2007-05-05 | title=2005 NYSDOT Traffic Data Report: AADT Values for Select Toll Facilities]
open= May 25, 1950
toll= $5.00 (both directions per car in cash); discount available with E-ZPass


The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is a toll road in New York City which crosses under the East River at its mouth, connecting the Boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan. The tunnel nearly passes underneath Governors Island however does not provide vehicular access to the island. It consists of twin tubes, carrying an aggregate of four traffic lanes, and at 9,117 feet (2,779 meters) is the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in North America. It was opened to traffic in 1950. It currently carries the unsigned Interstate 478, and formerly carried New York State Route 27A.


The "Battery" in the tunnel's name refers to the southernmost tip of Manhattan Island, site of an artillery battery during the city's earliest days.

The tunnel is owned by the City of New York and operated by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, an affiliate agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Robert Moses, the chairman of the Triborough Bridge Authority, attempted to scuttle the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel proposal and have a bridge built in its place. Many objected to the proposed bridge on the grounds that it would spoil the dramatic view of the Manhattan skyline, reduce Battery Park to minuscule size and destroy what was then the New York Aquarium at Castle Clinton. Moses remained adamant, and it was only an order from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, via military channels, which restored the tunnel project, on the grounds that a bridge built seaward of the Brooklyn Navy Yard would prove a hazard to national defense. This edict was issued in spite of the fact that the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge were already seaward of the Navy Yard.

The tunnel was designed by Ole Singstad and partially completed when World War II brought a halt to construction. After the War, Moses's Triborough Bridge Authority was merged with the Tunnel Authority, allowing the new Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority to take over the project. Moses directed the tunnel be finished with a different method for finishing the tunnel walls. This resulted in leaking and, according to Caro, the TBTA fixed the leaks by using a design almost identical to Singstad's original. [Caro]

As of March 16, 2008, the crossing charge for a two-axle passenger vehicle is $5.00 in each direction, with a $0.50 discount for E-ZPass users. The crossing charge for a motorcycle is $2.50 charged in each direction, with a $0.25 discount for E-ZPass users.

In the 1997 feature film "Men in Black", the tunnel's Manhattan ventilation fan station is the location of the secret alien immigration terminal and the headquarters of the Men in Black.

Interstate 478

Infobox road

length_ref=cite web|url=|title=Route Log and Finder List - Interstate System: Table 2|publisher=FHWA|accessdate=2008-03-28]
terminus_a=Jct|state=NY|I|278 in Brooklyn
terminus_b=Jct|state=NY|NY|9A in Manhattan
"Interstate 478"'s entire length consists of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and its approaches. Its south end is at Interstate 278, and its north end is at NY-9A (West Side Highway).

I-478 was planned to be signed and continue north to Interstate 78 at the Holland Tunnel via the now-canceled underground Westway project.

The I-478 number has been considered for other routes as well, including:
*The Lower Manhattan Expressway branch along the Manhattan Bridge, between I-78 (which was to use the branch to the Williamsburg Bridge) and I-278 (1958-1971)
*The Grand Central Parkway between I-278 and I-678 (1971)Before I-478 was moved to the Westway project in 1971, that project was planned as I-695, which would have continued north along the Henry Hudson Parkway to the George Washington Bridge (Interstate 95).

Further reading

*Caro, Robert A., "", New York: Knopf, 1974.


External links

* [ about Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel]

Crossings navbox
structure = Crossings
place = East River
bridge = Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel
bridge signs =
upstream = Joralemon Street Tunnel
upstream signs = NYCS-bull-small|4NYCS-bull-small|5
downstream = Verrazano Narrows Bridge
downstream signs =

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