Park Avenue Tunnel Rehabilitation Begins February 2017

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Updated 2/28/18

The New York City Department of Transportation Division of Bridges maintains the Park Avenue Tunnel, and the project to rehabilitate and repair this 100+ year old structure began in February 2017. This tunnel 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 involves 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. The project is expected to continue through 2019.

The Work Zone Traffic Control area was established, and 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. For increased safety, speed limits have also been reduced in the tunnel from 35 mph to 15 mph.

Work hours:

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

The contractor has finished the new sub-surface drainage installation and has resurfaced the tunnel roadway with base concrete. 

NYCDOT Division of Bridges will repair and remount the exhaust fans in the roof of the Park Avenue Tunnel from March 5-9. Traffic on the northbound side of Park Avenue will be reduced to one lane.

The contract will then move into the next phase of work which is asbestos and lead abatement. This work is expected to last about 3 months and will most likely begin at the end of March.  A licensed sub-contractor will properly remove the corrugated ceiling panels which line the tunnel roof and safely dispose of all materials in accordance with the approved asbestos abatement plan.  Prioritizing environmental health will be of utmost importance during this stage by strictly adhering to the state and federal safety standards.

The NYC DOT is taking every measure to ensure that inconveniences during construction are kept to a minimum:

  • Environmental monitoring services are in place and noise decibel levels are being monitored with sound level meters so that they do not exceed the levels established by NYC DEP. 
  • Noise reducing blankets are utilized during night time construction at the entrance and exit to the tunnel. These  barrier blankets are designed to provide noise control while construction work inside the tunnel is in progress.
  • Green mesh privacy netting has been installed over the fencing at the construction storage area on East 40th Street. This privacy tarp keeps dust particles from spilling into the surrounding area and hides the work materials.
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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