Beginning at 11 p.m. on Sunday, February 5, and continuing through 2025, the New Jersey-bound tube of the Holland Tunnel will be closed six overnights each week during off-peak hours to accommodate major and important repairs resulting from Superstorm Sandy.
Similar New York-bound closures that began in April 2020 will terminate at 5 a.m. on February 4, 2021, as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey completes repairs and storm-resilience initiatives connected to Sandy-related damage to the south tube of the tunnel.
During the overnight closures, repairs and replacements of mechanical, electrical, communications, and plumbing systems damaged by latent salt from Hurricane Sandy’s seawater flooding must be performed in both tubes of the 2.6-mile-long tunnel, as well as repairs to architectural, structural, and civil elements of the tunnel infrastructure.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which slammed the New York metropolitan area in October 2012, 30 million gallons of brackish water entered the tunnel through the New Jersey portals and ventilation buildings, causing significant damage to these systems.
Within a year of the storm, short-term flood mitigation measures were implemented, including the installation of flood-proof removable barriers at ventilation buildings, concrete barriers at the north (New Jersey-bound) tube exit portal and the New Jersey administration building, and the purchase of emergency generators, pumps, and deployable fillable barriers.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the tunnel, says the overnight closures are necessary to “accommodate extensive and critical work to permanently fix or replace damaged components, including safety walks and walls, and curb drainage; structural steel; blower duct and flues; wall tiles and weep holes in the tunnel structure; granite block retaining walls in the New Jersey portals; exhaust ducts, drum rings and ceiling panel hangers; cables, duplex receptacles, and electrical conduit
In addition, a complete wash and removal of sea salt residue will be performed on the highway, tunnel signage, access doors, and egress paths.
In addition, the Port Authority will instal flood mitigation enhancements designed to withstand future extreme weather events and meet federal flood standards, including flexible wall barriers at the tunnel exit and entrance portals, a removable flood barrier system around the tunnel perimeter, and concrete flood walls surrounding the New Jersey administrative facility.
Depending on their location, drivers should use alternative routes to New Jersey during the closures, such as the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, and Staten Island bridges.