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As It Turns 75, Revisit the Queens Midtown Tunnel's Early Days

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All photos via the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels Archive

Happy birthday, Queens Midtown Tunnel! The borough-connecting thoroughfare turns 75 this weekend: Sandhogs—and President Franklin Roosevelt—broke ground on the tunnel in 1936, but it officially opened to the public on November 15, 1940. (President Roosevelt also returned for a ceremonial first ride through the tunnel a few weeks before it opened to the public.) Since then, it's been used for more than one billion trips between Manhattan and Queens, and has held up remarkably well for its age—the first time it needed extensive repairs was in 2012, when Hurricane Sandy swept through the city and dumped tons of water in the tunnel. To celebrate the civic project's birthday, the MTA recently released a batch of vintage photos of the tunnel under construction and in the years immediately following its opening—take a look at some of our favorites below.