Park Avenue Tunnel (roadway)

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Coordinates: 40°44′56.3″N 73°58′47.8″W / 40.748972°N 73.979944°W / 40.748972; -73.979944

Park Avenue Tunnel
(Murray Hill Tunnel)
Park Avenue Tunnel.jpg
South end of tunnel
Overview
Location Midtown Manhattan, New York
Coordinates 40°44′56.3″N 73°58′47.8″W / 40.748972°N 73.979944°W / 40.748972; -73.979944
Route Northbound Park Avenue
Start East 33rd Street (entrance ramp)
East 34th Street (entrance portal)
End East 40th Street (exit ramp)
East 39th Street (exit portal) (all traffic must continue to East 46th Street)
Operation
Opened 1834; 180 years ago (1834)
Traffic Automotive (formerly trains and streetcars)
Technical
Length 5 blocks, approximately 0.25 miles (0.40 km)
Number of lanes 1
Operating speed 35 miles per hour (56.33 km/h)
Tunnel clearance 8 feet 11 inches (2.72 m)
Width 16 feet (4.88 m)

The Park Avenue Tunnel passes under Park Avenue in the New York City borough of Manhattan, leading towards Grand Central Terminal. It once carried the New York and Harlem Railroad and later that company's streetcar line and was called the Murray Hill Tunnel. Due to the construction of Grand Central Terminal and the removal of tracks, the north end has been reconstructed for a steeper approach. It is now under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Transportation, and carries one lane of northbound car traffic from East 33rd Street to East 40th Street. From 40th Street north, traffic follows the Park Avenue Viaduct. Prior to August 3, 2008, the tunnel carried two-way traffic, but was reconfigured to increase pedestrian safety.[1]

The Lexington Avenue Line of the New York City Subway runs parallel to the Park Avenue Tunnel in two tunnels below it.[2]

The tunnel was originally built as an open rock cut, completed in 1834, after which the NY&H Railroad was opened as far as Yorkville, to 85th Street. In the 1850s the cut was roofed over, using granite stringers from the original railroad bed south of 14th Street, thus creating the present tunnel.[3] The vertical clearance is 8 feet 11 inches (2.71 m).

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Notes

  1. ^ "DOT Announces Safety Upgrade at Park Avenue and 33rd Street/Trial Closure of Park Avenue Tunnel's Southbound Lane" (Press release). New York City Department of Transportation. August 1, 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  2. ^ "Some Features Of The New York Rapid Transit Tunnel" (reprint). Scientific American: 327. May 25, 1901. 
  3. ^ Gray, Christopher (July 21, 2011). "Putting the Park in Park Avenue". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-03. 

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