Here’s a surviving 1940-era street sign on Tunnel Exit Street, an exit from the Queens Midtown Tunnel in Murray Hill. photo: Steve Garza

The tunnel was designed by Ole Singstad, and it was opened to traffic in 1940 under the supervision of New York City Tunnel Authority to relieve traffic congestion on the city’s East River bridges. It was among of the largest public works projects of the New Deal era, and represented the most advanced tunnel engineering techniques of its day. In 1946, the tunnel became a Triborough facility when the New York City Tunnel Authority and the Triborough Bridge Authority were consolidated to form the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. Singstad’s experience as chief engineer of the Holland Tunnel enabled him to meet the challenge of excavating the rocky, unusually difficult conditions under the East River. It consists of twin tubes carrying an aggregate of four traffic lanes, and is 1,955 m (6,414 ft) long. US President Franklin Roosevelt was the first person driven through the completed tubes as well. The Midtown Tunnel has responded to Presidential involvement in its welfare by providing a high-capacity, all-weather and most reliable link between Manhattan and Queens for over 6 decades. Long Island Exchange


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9 Responses to 34th ST. TUNNEL SIGN

  1. Roger_the_Shrubber says:

    Tunnel Exit Street….

    Gotta love those descriptive and unapologetically practical street names.

    • KevinJWalsh says:

      THE Gothamist Roger The Shrubber?

      Has Del Signore banned you for antibike thoughts yet?

      • Roger_the_Shrubber says:

        Not so much anti-bike as anti bicyclists – the ones who come flying down the street the wrong way and nearly clip you in the crosswalk.

  2. blake says:

    great photos

  3. Hart Sastrowardoyo says:

    Here in Lacey Township, NJ there’s a jughandle named “Ramp A” and a street sign to match….

    But getting back to this street, is there also a Tunnel Entrance Street?

    • KevinJWalsh says:


      • Ken B. says:

        Interesting that Tunnel Exit Street and Tunnel Entrance Street are north/south while the original thoroughfares in those directions in the grid plan are Avenues. I wonder while they were not named Tunnel Exit Avenue and Tunnel Entrance Avenue?

  4. Ferryboi says:

    That “NO STANDING ANYTIME” sign looks pretty ancient too. Can’t see if it has the old “Dept of Traffic” verbiage at the bottom, as opposed to the “Dept of Transportation” signs of today.

  5. It’s surprising how good the condition of the sign is considering it’s been hanging for over sixty years.

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