Skip to main content

Underwater

Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: Environmental ControlEra: 1920-1929DateCreated: 1920Hudson River Greenway; ManhattanNew YorkState: NYCountry: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-a-l/environmental-control/-93-holland-tunnel-ventilation-system-%281920%29Creator: Freeman, Milton
The first long underwater tunnel in the world designed for motor vehicle use was built from 1920 to 1927. The 29.5-foot-diameter, 8,500-foot-long twin tubes of this tunnel were shield-driven by the pneumatic method through extremely difficult river-bottom conditions that were overcome by the ingenuity and determination of its engineers, Clifford M. Holland, Milton H. Freeman, and Ole Singstad. They were the largest in the United States when built.
YearAdded:
1984
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Bill Benzon (CC BY-SA 2.0)Image Caption: Holland Tunnel Ventilation SystemEra_date_from: 1920
Holland Tunnel
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: TunnelsEra: 1920-1929DateCreated: 1927Hudson RiverJersey CityState: NJZip: 07310Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Holland-Tunnel/Creator: Holland, Clifford

The 1.6-mile Holland Tunnel was the first underwater vehicular crossing of the Hudson River and the first tunnel specifically designed for automobiles and trucks. It dramatically reduced the time required to traverse the Hudson River, a trip previously possible only by ferry. 

A major difficulty when tunneling beneath a river is to keep water and mud from inundating the workers and equipment in the tunnel. Builders of the Holland Tunnel used a shield that enveloped the work site as the excavation progressed; this also avoided obstruction of shipping traffic during construction.

YearAdded:
1982
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Chris Leung (CC BY-SA 2.0)Image Caption: Holland TunnelEra_date_from: 1927
Subscribe to Underwater
Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.