Montague Street Tunnel
|Line||BMT Fourth Avenue Line (R train)|
|Location||East River between Manhattan, New York and Brooklyn, New York|
|System||New York City Subway|
|Opened||August 1, 1920|
|Closed||August 2, 2013 (temporary)|
|Operator||Metropolitan Transportation Authority|
|No. of tracks||2 tracks|
The Montague Street Tunnel carries the R train of the New York City Subway under the East River between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. It opened to revenue service on Sunday, August 1, 1920 at 2 am with a holiday schedule, the same day as the 60th Street Tunnel. Regular service began Monday, August 2, 1920. The two new tunnels allowed passengers to make an 18-mile (29 km) trip from Coney Island, through Manhattan on the BMT Broadway Line, to Queens for a 5-cent fare. The original construction cost was $9,867,906.52, almost twice that of the 60th Street Tunnel.
Construction of the tunnel began on October 12, 1914, using a tunneling shield in conjunction with compressed air. The tunnel was designed by civil engineer Clifford Milburn Holland, who would later serve as the first chief engineer of the Holland Tunnel. The north tube of the tunnel was holed through on June 2, 1917 and the south tube was holed through on June 20, 1917.
On December 27, 1920, more than ten thousand passengers were forced to evacuate the tunnel. Power to the third rail was shut off after a shoe beam on a train approaching Whitehall Street fell and caused a short circuit, stranding ten subway trains inside the tunnel.
Use of the Montague Street Tunnel, the Cranberry Street Tunnel or a combination of the two tunnels were considered as alternatives in lieu of constructing a new tunnel under the East River for the proposed Lower Manhattan – Jamaica/JFK Transportation Project. Use of the existing tunnel was considered as an option because the Montague Street Tunnel had surplus capacity, having carried the M until 2010, and the N trains during the reconstruction of the Manhattan Bridge from 1986 until 2004.
On October 29, 2012, the tunnel suffered severe flooding from Hurricane Sandy. As a result, the tunnel was closed to all train service while repairs were being made. Service in the tunnel was restored using temporary equipment on December 21. However, the MTA has announced that a complete reconstruction of the tunnel systems are needed, so the tunnel was closed for a second time on August 2, 2013 and will remain closed until October 2014.
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- "Work Begins on New Tubes Under River". The New York Times. October 11, 1914. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
- Aronson, Michael (June 15, 1999). "The Digger Clifford Holland". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 2010-07-02.
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- "Thousands Penned in River Tunnel". The New York Times. December 28, 1920. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
- "Airport Link Options Narrowed to Four". Lower Manhattan Development Corportation. 2004-02-05. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
- Dunlap, David W.; Baker, Al (May 4, 2004). "Rail Tunnel Is Considered For L.I. Link To Manhattan". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
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- Pierre-Pierre, Garry (April 10, 1996). "Neglect of Manhattan Bridge Takes Toll in Time and Money". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-28.