Manhattan and Jersey City are two of the most important urban areas in the East Coast. A lot of people do business in both locations. They require a fast, reliable, and efficient way to travel to and fro. The Holland Tunnel is among the few paths that link these places together. Authorities pay close attention to this vital conduit due to its value to commuters and the frequency of accidents in the tunnel. So, why are accidents so common in the Holland Tunnel?
A Brief History of the Holland Tunnel
Let’s look back at how it started. This was an ambitious project that was conceptualized in the early 1900s. The proponents first thought of building over the Hudson River, but that proved to be problematic. They eventually opted to build a tunnel instead. It opened in 1927 after a seven-year construction period. Back then, it was considered as the longest of its kind in the world and the first to feature mechanical ventilation. The tunnel was named after its chief engineer who died before he could see the finished work. It has undergone several changes and upgrades throughout the years.
Past Accidents in and Around the Tunnel
While there are now a few other options, the Holland Tunnel remains popular among commuters who frequently shuffle from New York to New Jersey and vice versa. The large volume of traffic is one of the major reasons why so many accidents have happened inside it. It is estimated that an average of 46,000 vehicles go through the tunnel every day. Authorities have tried to manage the volume by banning single-occupancy vehicles during rush hour, as well as other traffic reduction measures.
The very first fatal crash was recorded way back in 1932 or four years after the opening. Two were injured while one person died. There are also been bigger unfortunate incidents like the 1949 Holland Tunnel fire. It began inside a truck containing chemicals and spread across the south tube. This caused massive damage to the structure and resulted in recorded 69 injuries. Two first responders died trying to contain the fire. Other fires have occurred since then. They result in extensive repairs to the structure to prevent collapse.
Despite the best efforts, accidents will continue to happen inside the tunnel for as long as vehicles pass through it. If you find yourself in such a crash, call an auto accident lawyer in NYC to discuss your legal options.