Cars enter the toll booths at the Holland Tunnel. Photo: PANYNJ

Overnight Closures of Outbound Tube to Begin Feb. 5; Similar Nightly Suspensions of New York-Bound Traffic for Superstorm Sandy Repairs to End at 5 a.m. on Feb. 4

Beginning at 11 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 5, through 2025, the New Jersey-bound tube of the Holland Tunnel will close during off-peak hours six overnights each week to accommodate extensive and critical repairs from damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. Similar New York-bound traffic closures that began in April 2020 will end at 5 a.m. on Feb. 4 as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey completes repairs and storm resiliency projects related to Sandy damage in the tunnel’s south tube.

The work that must be undertaken in both tubes of the 1.6-mile-long tunnel during the overnight closures include repairs to and replacement of mechanical, electrical, communications and plumbing systems damaged by latent salt from Sandy seawater flooding, as well as repairs to architectural, structural and civil elements of the tunnel infrastructure. These systems suffered major damage when 30 million gallons of brackish water entered the tunnel through the New Jersey portals and ventilation buildings in the aftermath of Sandy, which struck the New York metropolitan area in October 2012.

Short-term measures were deployed within a year after the storm to address flood mitigation concerns, such as the installation of removable flood-proof barriers at ventilation buildings, concrete barriers at the north (New Jersey-bound) tube exit portal and the New Jersey administration building, and the purchases of emergency generators, pumps and deployable fillable barriers.

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, duct banks, and fire detection systems; the voice communication system and fiber optic cables in both tubes; pump rooms and replacement of equipment therein; fire suppression systems; and lighting and corroded elevator parts. It will also include thorough wash and removal of sea salt residue from the roadway, tunnel signage, access doors and egress paths. Additionally, the Port Authority will install flood mitigation improvements designed to withstand future extreme weather events and meet federal flood standards, such as flexible wall barriers at the tunnel exit and entrance portals; a removable flood barrier system around the tunnel perimeter; and concrete flood walls around the New Jersey administrative facility.

With the conclusion of repairs in the south tube, which carries eastbound traffic towards New York, the overnight closures that had facilitated that work will end at 5 a.m. on Feb. 4, after which eastbound traffic will remain open at all hours through the Holland Tunnel.

During the repairs to the north tube that will begin on Feb. 5, westbound traffic toward New Jersey will be suspended during six overnights throughout the week through 2025, as noted in the schedule below:

  • Sunday nights                    11 p.m. – 5:30 a.m.
  • Monday nights                   11 p.m. – 5:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday nights                  11 p.m. – 5:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday nights             11 p.m. – 5:30 a.m.
  • Thursday nights                 11 p.m. – 5:30 a.m.
  • Friday nights                      11:59 p.m. – 9 a.m.
  • Saturday nights                 no scheduled closures

During the New Jersey-bound tube repairs, motorists are advised to use alternate routes based on their origins and destinations or to use mass transit alternatives when possible. For motorists going to:

  • Northern New Jersey: Use the George Washington Bridge
  • Hudson or Essex counties: Use the Lincoln Tunnel
  • Staten Island or southern New Jersey: Use the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge to the Goethals or Bayonne bridges, or the Outerbridge Crossing

The Port Authority is committed to providing information and updates on this critical Sandy repair project to the affected communities and motorists who use the Holland Tunnel, and will continue to conduct public outreach throughout the repairs as the agency has done throughout the work in the south tube. The Port Authority meets regularly with local communities to ensure that any impact from traffic diversions, construction and noise is carefully monitored, and community concerns are addressed. The Port Authority’s robust community outreach plan also includes social media and radio advertisements, email notifications, digital roadside signage and 511, as well as a partnership through Waze to proactively notify motorists who currently use the Holland Tunnel of upcoming changes. More information is available on the project website here.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is a bi-state agency that builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. For over a century, the agency’s network of major airports; critical bridges, tunnels and bus terminals; a commuter rail line; and the busiest seaport on the East Coast has been among the most vital in the country – transporting hundreds of millions of people and moving essential goods into and out of the region. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center campus, which today welcomes tens of thousands of office workers and millions of annual visitors. The agency’s historic $37 billion 10-year capital plan includes unprecedented transformation of the region’s three major airports – LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and JFK – as well as an array of other new and upgraded assets, including the $2 billion renovation of the 90-year-old George Washington Bridge. The Port Authority’s annual budget of $8 billion includes no tax revenue from either the states of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, visit www.panynj.gov or check out the Now Arriving blog.