178th–179th Street Tunnels

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Eastern portal of 178th St tunnel

The 178th and 179th Street Tunnels are two defunct vehicular tunnels in Upper Manhattan in New York City. Originally conceived and constructed under the auspices of Robert Moses, the twin tunnels have been superseded by the Trans-Manhattan Expressway in Washington Heights, which itself runs through tunnels created by high-rise apartments built over the expressway.

In the 1950s, the Trans-Manhattan Expressway (Interstate 95) was constructed by Robert Moses and by 1962, the two tunnels were out of commission. The tunnels, both 178th and 179th, are being used by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

History[edit]

After the end of World War II, New York public works baron Robert Moses started work on a bypass in Manhattan of the Washington Heights area to serve the George Washington Bridge. Originally, only the 178th Street Tunnel existed, being constructed in 1940 and serving both directions. Construction began on the 179th Street Tunnel in March 1949 and was completed over two years later. At that time, the 178th Street Tunnel was reconfigured to serve eastbound traffic only, while the 179th served the westbound. The two tunnels had a similar display, with a stone arch for portals and "Whitestone" light posts.[1]

However, the traffic used on the George Washington Bridge began to overwhelm the amount heading into the twin two-lane tunnels. In addition, along with the ventilation system unable to produce for many years after, a new system had to be constructed. The plans for the Trans-Manhattan Expressway were conceived in 1955[2] and seven years later, the new expressway opened to traffic.[3]

Although the two tunnels were abandoned, there are proposals to use them again for vehicular traffic. A study was completed in the 21st century, in which the tunnels would be rehabilitated and reused as part of reconstruction of the highway and the Alexander Hamilton Bridge. However, the two tunnels are currently being used by the Port Authority as storage space.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ George Washington Bridge Approach and Highbridge Expressway Interchange. The Port of New York Authority, New York State Department of Public Works and New York City Construction Coordinator. 1952. 
  2. ^ Joint Study of Arterial Facilities. The Port of New York Authority-Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. 1955. 
  3. ^ Ingraham, Joseph C. (August 30, 1962). "Lower Deck of George Washington Bridge Is Opened". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  4. ^ Car And Travel. Automobile Club of New York. 2003. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°50′45″N 73°55′55″W / 40.84583°N 73.93194°W / 40.84583; -73.93194