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Holland Tunnel


Holland Tunnel

Photo taken by Adam Elmquist

View this photo at panoramio.com

BH Photo #259378

Street View 


In 1920 the New Jersey Interstate Bridge and Tunnel Commission and the New York State Bridge and Tunnel Commission appropriated funds and began construction on what was then referred to as the Hudson River Vehicular Tunnel. Opening in 1927 the tunnel operated under the guise of the two state commissions until the Port Authority of NY & NJ (the Port of New York Authority, at the time) took over operations in April 1930.

The first Hudson River vehicular crossing, the Holland Tunnel connects Canal Street in Manhattan with 12th and 14th streets in Jersey City, NJ, and is considered an outstanding engineering achievement. As a tribute, it bears the name of its first chief engineer, Clifford M. Holland, who with his team surmounted many previously unsolved tunnel engineering problems. Unfortunately, Holland died before the tunnel's completion, and his successor, Milton Freeman, died five months later. The tunnel was finished under the leadership of the project's third chief engineer, Ole Singstad.

One of the most significant challenges was how to ventilate the 1.6-mile tunnel. With the dawn of the automobile age, it was imperative to find a way to remove potentially dangerous automobile fumes. Singstad's solution was to design a circular tunnel with an automatic ventilation system. Four ventilation buildings, two on each side of the Hudson River, house 84 immense fans that provide a change of air every 90 seconds, keeping air quality well within established safety limits. This innovation made the Holland Tunnel the first mechanically ventilated underwater vehicular tunnel. The methods used to design and build it still form the basis for the construction of many underwater vehicular tunnels throughout the world.

In 1984, because of its valuable contribution to tunnel design and construction, the Holland Tunnel was designated a National Historic Civil and Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil and Mechanical Engineers. And in 1993, it was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Average daily traffic is 90,000 vehicles.


Tunnel under Hudson River on Interstate 78
Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey, and New York County, New York
Open to traffic
Built 1927
- New Jersey Interstate Bridge and Tunnel Commission
- New York State Bridge and Tunnel Commission
- Ole Singstad of Agdenes, Norway
- Port Authority of NY&NJ
Twin tube tunnel
Total length: 8,558.0 ft. (1.6 mi.)
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 4, 1993
Also called
Hudson River Vehicular Tunnel
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.72838, -74.02609   (decimal degrees)
40°43'42" N, 74°01'34" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/582243/4509061 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Jersey City
Inventory numbers
NRHP 93001619 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 57083 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 27, 2018: Updated by Luke: Added category "Immersed Tube Tunnel"
  • October 7, 2014: HAER photos posted by Dave King
  • April 26, 2014: Updated by Stephen Greer: Added category "Hudson River"
  • September 17, 2013: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Incorrectly listed as Cumberland County, corrected to Hudson County
  • July 11, 2013: Added by Dave King

Related Bridges 


  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Holland Tunnel History
  • Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • Stephen Greer
  • HAER NY-161 - Holland Tunnel, Beneath Hudson River between New York & Jersey City, New York, New York County, NY