Park Avenue Tunnel (roadway)
|South end of tunnel|
|Location||Midtown Manhattan, New York|
|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)
|Traffic||Automotive (formerly trains and streetcars)|
|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.
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. The vertical clearance is 8 feet 11 inches (2.71 m).
The tunnel was open to pedestrians for the first time in coordination with the Summer Streets event, which shut down a section of Park Avenue roadway to vehicular traffic between 7:00 am and 1:00 pm on August 3, 10 and 17, 2013. During this event, the interior served as an art space containing Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's Voice Tunnel installation, in which visitors could record a short message that would be played back continuously from speakers along the tunnel walls. In 2014 the tunnel temporarily opened once again to the walking public, this time featuring the installation DIVE by Jana Winderen incorporating aquatic soundscapes. Both art projects were commissioned by the New York City Department of Transportation.
In popular culture
Parts of the 1998 movie Godzilla were filmed in the tunnel. Toward the end of the film, Godzilla chases the film's main characters into the tunnel, but is later lured back into the open toward the neighboring Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge, however, is in reality over 2 miles (3.2 km) from the tunnel.
- "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.
- "Some Features Of The New York Rapid Transit Tunnel" (reprint). Scientific American: 327. May 25, 1901.
- Gray, Christopher (July 21, 2011). "Putting the Park in Park Avenue". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- "Voice Tunnel Preview: Summer Streets 2013". New York City Department of Transportation video. Retrieved on August 30, 2014.
- Sarah, Cascone, "Dive Into the Park Avenue Tunnel’s Aquatic Sound Art Installation". Artnet News. Retrieved on August 30, 2014.
- Godzilla at AllMovie
- "Google Maps". Google. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2008)|
- Media related to Park Avenue Tunnel at Wikimedia Commons
- Abandoned Stations - 38 St
- Temporary closure; Aug 2008