Park Avenue Tunnel Rehabilitation begins February 2017

Friday, October 19, 2018

Updated 7/12/18, 10/19/18

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

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 at a cost of $24 million.

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 / Tunnel closure hours:

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

What's completed

  • The installation of a new sub-surface drainage system was completed.
  • The tunnel roadway subbase and base concrete on the east side of the tunnel were installed.
  • The asbestos abatement inside the tunnel was finished.

What's coming next

  • Lead will be abated from newly exposed bricks on the tunnel roof.
  • The 34th Street Mall will be refurbished with wider walkways and safety improvements. Parapet walls will be repaired and restored.

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.
  • The construction yard was re-located to the southbound side of Park Avenue between East 40th and East 41st Street.
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.





July 2018 Park Avenue Tunnel Newsletter
November 2019 Flyer