Late Thursday morning, a tractor-trailer became lodged within the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, causing a traffic nightmare into and out of lower Manhattan that seemed certain to linger for hours.
According to Catherine Sheridan, president of MTA Bridges and Tunnels, the truck driver either failed to notice or disregarded the posted signage stating that tractor-trailers are not permitted in the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn.
There was significant congestion on both sides of the tunnel as a result of the 18-wheeler being trapped on the Brooklyn-bound side. In the early afternoon, there were miles of backed-up traffic.
Truck Stuck Inside The 1.7-Mile-Long Tunnel
Around 10 a.m., the truck became trapped about a mile inside the 1.7-mile-long tunnel, slightly over halfway through, according to the MTA. According to officials, the truck was completely evacuated from the tunnel shortly after noon with the aid of a tow truck and tire deflation.
It took hours for the Manhattan-bound tube to fully reopen, according to officials, and the evening commute may have suffered as a result.
The Tunnel Was Safe To Reopen For Traffic
The tunnel was structurally inspected by the transit agency to determine the extent of the damage, and it was found to be sound enough to reopen to traffic in time for the afternoon rush.
For driving in the HOV lane, ignoring posted signs, being over height, failing to obey an officer, driving with a flat tire, and other offenses, the truck's driver received a long list of summonses. Investigators discovered that he was also operating an unregistered automobile.
When the journey was halted, the tractor-trailer was transporting paint and had another cargo on its way to Port Washington, Long Island.