Holland Tunnel to undergo critical Sandy repairs with FEMA funding

The Holland Tunnel will get $229.6 million in federal funding for superstorm Sandy-related repairs, a group of U.S. senators announced.

The money was secured through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for 22 sites within the tunnel, which was flooded during the storm. That money will be delivered to the Port Authority and will cover about 90% of the $255 million in repairs.

“I am pleased that FEMA is providing the federal funds needed to restore this critical infrastructure and help make the Holland Tunnel better protected in the event of a future storm,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who announced the news with Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Bob Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Water surged in the 89-year-old tunnel, a National Historic Civil and Mechanical Engineering Landmark, through the New Jersey roadway portals and the exhaust air duct system. Both the north and south tubes of the tunnel were damaged, leaving the Holland closed for days after the storm.

“This investment will help strengthen critical transportation infrastructure here in New York City,” said Gillibrand in a statement, who added that the repairs are “long overdue”for the tunnel, which serves about 89,000 vehicles each day.

In February, the Port Authority announced it would spend $7 million in planning work for “permanent repairs and restorations” to the tunnel. Executive Director Pat Foye stressed at the time that “what happens in our Port District – and what happens to our Port District – impacts the nation.”