U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today attended the reopening of the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, formerly known as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, for cars traveling between Brooklyn and Manhattan. LaHood highlighted the Obama Administration's continued efforts to support the restoration of transportation services throughout the region. The expanded travel option for cars will be available in one lane of the eastern tube, while the other lane remains dedicated for express buses.
Secretary LaHood, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman Joe Lhota attended the reopening of the tunnel, which was flooded with an estimated 43 million gallons of corrosive, debris-laden seawater in each of its two tubes during Hurricane Sandy. This caused wide-ranging damage to the tunnel's electrical, lighting, communications, surveillance and ventilation systems.
"This is good news for the millions of drivers who depend on the tunnel to get to work every day, and we will continue to coordinate with our partners to get the region back on its feet," said Secretary LaHood. "We are committed to helping the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy rebuild and restore their transportation systems so people can resume their regular routines as soon as possible."
While in New York, Secretary LaHood also announced the signing of a $28.3 million grant that will help construct a 9.3 mile bus rapid transit line in Brooklyn. The agreement between the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the New York City Department of Transportation will help pay 71 percent of the total cost of the $40.2 million project. The line, running primarily along Nostrand Avenue, will include 17 stations from the existing Williamsburg Bridge Plaza to the north, to serve the communities of Prospect Park, Flatbush and the neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay towards the south.
"Hurricane Sandy reminded us how important transit options are to the New York City region following a crisis, and the Nostrand Avenue BRT will offer commuters and others real choice to get to where they need to go," said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff.
On November 2, 2012, Secretary LaHood, Deputy Secretary Porcari and FTA Administrator Rogoff toured several sites in New Jersey, including Hoboken Terminal, to see the damage from Hurricane Sandy first-hand and determine the best ways to support local transportation recovery efforts.
The DOT has also provided nearly $30 million in quick-release emergency funds to states impacted by the storm for immediate repairs to roads, bridges and tunnels, including $10 million for New York. The FTA continues to coordinate with FEMA and the General Services Administration to ensure that local transit agencies have the resources they need to restore critical transportation networks. That coordination included a $25 million contract to provide private buses to New Jersey Transit to partially restore service for New York-bound commuters and others.