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Highway under the HudsonA History of the Holland Tunnel$
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Robert W. Jackson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814742990

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814742990.001.0001

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Highway under the Hudson

Robert W. Jackson

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the opening of the Holland Tunnel. Made nervous by predictions of disaster, the tunnel commissioners had decided to delay opening the Holland Tunnel for vehicular traffic until 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, November 13, 1927. Pedestrians, however, were allowed to walk through the tunnels from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 12. New Jersey tunnel commission secretary E. Morgan Barradale estimated that approximately fifty thousand people from New Jersey walked through the tunnels, and another twenty to twenty-five thousand from New York passed through before the tunnels were closed to pedestrians at 7 p.m. During the first twenty-four hours of the tunnel being opened to vehicular traffic, 52,285 vehicles passed through, most of them passenger cars. On March 19, 1931, Holland Tunnel traffic reached thirty-five million, far ahead of projections made when it opened. After nearly two and a half years of operation, the tunnel had proved that long vehicular tunnels could be safely ventilated. The payments made by the Port Authority to the two states also demonstrated the project's financial success, while the traffic counts indicated the need for an additional tunnel (or tunnels) under the Hudson River.

Keywords:   Holland Tunnel opening, vehicular tunnel, pedestrians, New York, New Jersey

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