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The Montague Street Tunnel carries the N R trains 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.
Brooklyn ventilation building
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