Lincoln Tunnel – New York to New Jersey


The Lincoln Tunnel is a 1.5-mile long tunnel under the Hudson River, from  Weehawken, New Jersey to the borough of Manhattan.  The  project was funded by the New Deal’s Public Works Administration and the design was by Ole Singstad. Construction began in March 1934 and the tunnel opened to traffic on December 22, 1937, charging $0.50 per passenger car. The cost of construction was $85,000,000.  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.  A third tunnel was added in 1957.

The Lincoln Tunnel is one of a triad of tunnels built by the New Deal to provide better traffic access to Manhattan from New Jersey, Queens (Queens-Midtown Tunnel) and Brooklyn (Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel).

“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 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)


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).

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Location Info

Lincoln Tunnel
New York, NY 10001

Location notes:
The tunnel connects New York and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River. The New Jersey entrance is located at 40.766362, -74.022742 and can be reached on the NJ-495 E or by following Park Ave. north. The Manhattan entrance is located at 40.758698, -73.999137. It can be approached from Dyer Ave. off of W 31st St. or from 9th Ave. just south of W37th St.

Coordinates: 40.763446, -74.011216

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