Battery Park Underpass

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Battery Park Underpass
West St climbs from Battery Park underpass jeh.jpg
Western portal at the West Side Highway
Official name Battery Park Underpass
Location Battery Park, Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates 40°42′09″N 74°00′58″W / 40.70250°N 74.01611°W / 40.70250; -74.01611Coordinates: 40°42′09″N 74°00′58″W / 40.70250°N 74.01611°W / 40.70250; -74.01611
Route FDR Drive
Start South Street Viaduct, Financial District
End West Street, Battery Park City
Constructed 1940-1951
Opened April 10, 1951 (1951-04-10)[1]
Closed October 29, 2012[2]
Reopened November 13, 2012[3]
Traffic Automotive
Character Limited access
No. of lanes 4
Operating speed 35 miles per hour (56 km/h)
Tunnel clearance 12 feet 7 inches (3.84 m)
Eastern portal at the FDR Drive in front of the Battery Maritime Building

The Battery Park Underpass is a vehicular tunnel in Manhattan, New York. It was the second section of Manhattan's Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive to be completed. The underpass crosses beneath Battery Park and the approach to the Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel.


The underpass opened to the public on April 10, 1950.[1] The underpass runs underneath Battery Park, connecting the West Side Highway to the South Street Viaduct with two lanes of traffic in each direction.[1] The project was completed shortly after the opening of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and provides direct access between the tunnel and the FDR Drive.[4]

In 2005, during the reconstruction of Route 9A, the roof of the Battery Park Underpass was extended to the north by about 80 feet (25m) to provide a U-turn lane and amenities for pedestrians and bicyclists.[5]

During Hurricane Sandy, the tunnel filled completely with seawater and required major repairs.[6]

Plans for extension[edit]

There have been three proposals to extend the tunnel north on the FDR Drive side.

  • In 1971, it was suggested that the South Street Viaduct be turned into a tunnel, essentially extending the underpass north to the Brooklyn Bridge
  • In 2002, the Downtown Alliance, the local business improvement district, called for a 350-foot (105 m) extension to the underpass to create a plaza in front of the Battery Maritime Building. The estimated cost was $70 million.[7]
  • In 2005, Mayor Michael Bloomberg also called for an extension of the underpass near the Battery Maritime Building as part of a plan to rehabilitate the South Street Viaduct.[8]


Western entrance from the West Side Highway
  1. ^ a b c "City Opens Underpass at Battery, $10,000,000 Link in Express Route". The New York Times. April 11, 1951. p. 31. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
  2. ^ Newman, Andy. "Battery Tunnel Partly Reopens to Motorists". The New York Times. The New York Times Company.
  3. ^ "Reopening of the Battery Park Underpass to Westbound Buses for Afternoon Rush Hour Beginning Today and Reopening to All Eastbound Vehicles Beginning Wednesday Nov. 14 During Morning Rush Hour". November 13, 2012.
  4. ^ Guide to Civil Engineering Projects In and Around New York City (2nd ed.). Metropolitan Section, American Society of Civil Engineers. 2009. pp. 61–62.
  5. ^ Dunlap, David W. (November 2, 2005). "A Little Easier Getting Around Downtown". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  6. ^ "Battery Park Underpass partially repoens". WABC-TV. November 13, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  7. ^ Dunlap, David W. (August 1, 2002). "Plans for the Neglected East River Shoreline". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
  8. ^ Dunlap, David W. (March 2, 2005). "Restoring a Missing Link: Lower Manhattan to the East River". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-25.

External links[edit]