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Thread: Queens Midtown Tunnel Renovation

  1. #1
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS

    Default Queens Midtown Tunnel Renovation


    July 12, 2004

    After 65 years on the job, the Queens Midtown Tunnel's 23 original ventilation fans — each the size of a small car — are exhausted.

    The carbon-steel blades will be retired in favor of more efficient and easier-to-maintain stainless-steel fans as part of a $10 million to $50 million renovation, which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority just put out to bid.

    First installed in 1936 — four years before the tunnel opened to traffic — the old fans needed to be repainted regularly, at great cost.

    "The improvements to the tunnel's ventilation system will ensure that it continues to serve our customers for decades to come," said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Michael Ascher.

    The fans are needed to clear the tunnel air of all the carbon monoxide and other pollutants that vehicles spew. The fans move 2.8 million cubic feet of air per minute and can completely clear both tubes every 90 seconds.

    Once the exhaust fans are replaced, the 23 intake fans will also be retired, Ascher said. The new fan motors will be moved safely away into the tunnel's two ventilation buildings.

    Officials say the fan replacement will not disturb traffic flow because of the many redundancies built into the system.

    The only time the fans are ever at full speed, a spokesperson said, is after the tunnel undergoes a thorough cleaning.

    Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

  2. #2
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    As It Turns 75, Revisit the Queens Midtown Tunnel's Early Days

    November 13, 2015, by Amy Plitt

    All photos via the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels Archive

    Happy birthday, Queens Midtown Tunnel! The borough-connecting thoroughfare turns 75 this weekend: Sandhogs—and President Franklin Roosevelt—broke ground on the tunnel in 1936, but it officially opened to the public on November 15, 1940. (President Roosevelt also returned for a ceremonial first ride through the tunnel a few weeks before it opened to the public.) Since then, it's been used for more than one billion trips between Manhattan and Queens, and has held up remarkably well for its age—the first time it needed extensive repairs was in 2012, when Hurricane Sandy swept through the city and dumped tons of water in the tunnel. To celebrate the civic project's birthday, the MTA recently released a batch of vintage photos of the tunnel under construction and in the years immediately following its opening.

    Located on Borden Avenue in Long Island City, the ventilation building that services the tunnel was completed in 1940

    Part of the tunnel pre-excavation; the circle shows the chunk of rock that needed to be removed by explosives

    This photo from 1940 shows off a mostly-finished tunnel

    The brand-new Manhattan entrance to the tunnel in 1940

    A view of Long Island City in 1940, with the tunnel in the middle of the image, and the Manhattan skyline in the background

    When the tunnel first opened, the ground was made of brick. It's since been replaced with asphalt

    Construction on the Queens side of the tunnel, as seen on Borden Avenue

    The tube in 1938

    More pics on Curbed

  3. #3


    One thread with two posts, 11 years apart. Interesting.

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