Lincoln Tunnel – New York to New Jersey


“The Lincoln Tunnel, formerly identified as the Mid-Town Hudson Tunnel, is the second under-water highway between New York and New Jersey. This tunnel, in conjunction with a proposed vehicular underpass in Manhattan Island and with the Queens Mid-Town Vehicular Tunnel now under construction under the East River, will afford a continuous highway link between the highway system of New Jersey and the highway system of Long Island. Construction of the first operating unit began under Project 228 (N. Y.) under which docket approximately $47,000,000 was expended on the tunnel, the New Jersey plaza and approaches, and appurtenant structures and equipment.

The completion of the tunnel was carried out under Project N. Y. 1629 and supplemented by work done under contracts negotiated by the owner not under P.W.A. supervision. This completion involves an estimated expenditure of $14,378,100 under the P.W.A. program and an expenditure of $12,304,550 under other supervision. Another $12,354,000 in contracts presently deferred were contemplated in the original estimated cost of the project.

The illustrations on this page show the New York entrance to the tunnel, the interior of the tunnel, and one of the three ventilating buildings constructed. The ventilating equipment will afford change of air every 1 1/2 minutes.

The illustrations on this page show the New Jersey entrance and a perspective of the roadways, underpass, and bridges leading to that entrance.

The distance between tunnel portals is 8,215 feet and the total length of the entire project is 25,000 feet (4.87 miles). The roadway in the tube is 21 1/2 feet wide and its maximum depth below mean high water is 91 feet 3 1/2 inches.

The work under Project N. Y. 1629 included the purchase of land for, and the construction of, the New York plaza and approaches to the tube, the completion of the tube itself, equipment, the construction of additional buildings, and highway extensions. The entire project as originally planned involved an estimated expenditure of $83,235,550.”
(Short and Brown)

“The Lincoln Tunnel is a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) long tunnel under the Hudson River, connecting Weehawken, New Jersey and the borough of Manhattan in New York City.

The tunnel was designed by Ole Singstad. The project was funded by the New Deal’s Public Works Administration. Construction began on the first tube in March 1934.[3] It opened to traffic on December 22, 1937, charging $0.50 per passenger car. The cost of construction was $85,000,000.[4]

The original design called for two tubes. Work on the second was halted in 1938 but resumed in 1941. Due to war material shortages of metal, completion was delayed for two years. It opened on February 1, 1945 at a cost of $80 million, with Michael Catan, brother of Omero Catan (known as Mr. First, attending over 526 opening day events), selected to be the first to lead the public through the tube.”

A third tunnel was added in 1957.


Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s

Source notes

C.W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown. "Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 with the Assistance of the Public Works Administration." (1939).

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.

Location Info

Lincoln Tunnel
New York, NY 10001

Location notes:
The tunnel connects New York and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River.

Coordinates: 40.763446, -74.011216

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