Park Avenue Tunnel Rehabilitation Begins February 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

The New York City Department of Transportation Division of Bridges maintains the Park Avenue Tunnel, and will soon begin the project to rehabilitate and repair this 100+ year old structure, which runs from East 33rd Street to East 40th Street beneath the Park Avenue malls. The Park Avenue Tunnel Rehabilitation will be done in phases. The work will involve structural, electrical, mechanical and fire protection improvements and will also include safety improvements at intersections and beautification of surrounding areas. For the outside renovations and improvements, the DOT is planning to use construction materials consistent with the character of the neighborhood and will restore any areas that are disturbed. and includes structural, electrical mechanical and fire protection updates. The anticipated duration of the contract is two years.

The project has now moved from the Pre-construction Phase into Phase One. Earlier in February, the Work Zone Traffic Control area was established. Advisory signs have been posted at the south portal alerting drivers to the road narrowing ahead as the travel lane inside the tunnel has been reduced to 9 feet 6 inches.

The current work is being performed between the hours of 7:30am to 3:30pm.  For increased safety, speed limits have also been reduced in the tunnel from 35 mph to 15 mph. Other work in progress includes:

  • Engineering survey inside the tunnel
  • Excavation of test pits to verify the location of sub surface utilities
  • Mounting conduits and boxes for temporary lighting
  • Chipping unsound concrete in preparation for repairs at the north portal

Once the above tasks are completed, the next expected activity is the removal of the corrugated ceiling panels. As a reminder, the schedule for this phase of active construction includes nights and weekends. During these operations the tunnel must be closed to traffic. These are the hours:

Weeknights: 9pm to 6am
Weekends: 9pm Friday night through 6am Monday

Construction Community Liaison on the project: Patty Sarantakos, email, phone 646-476-0804 


Did you know?
The tunnel once carried the New York and Harlem Railroad (NY&H) and was then called the Murray Hill Tunnel.
The tunnel was originally built as an open rock cut, completed in 1834, after which the NY&H Railroad was opened as far as Yorkville at 85th Street.
In 1854, a brick arch roof was constructed and the underground tunnel was used by steam trains.
In 1870 the railroad began using the tunnel for electric trolleys.
The tunnel is approximately 1,393 feet long.


Rehabilitation of Park Avenue Tunnel
Contract No. HBM551
PIN No. 84108MBBR345



Park Avenue Tunnel Fact Sheet


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