A city underpass heading into the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel is still without any working lights more than 16 months since Hurricane Sandy, and that's causing concern for some drivers. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
Drivers heading into the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel from the West Side Highway face an interesting obstacle when they reach one specific underpass: everything basically fades to black.
"I mean, you visually impaired. How do you see if somebody you know, God forbid there's anybody down there, you get in trouble for that," said one person. "It's definitely not safe. We need more lighting."
Even during the daytime, it's dark inside this access roadway to the tunnel, formally known as the Hugh L. Carey. They've been out since Hurricane Sandy filled it with water.
It's not just the overhead lights. The traffic signals and the electronic sign are both out, too. Add it all up, and many drivers say it isn't exactly safe.
Besides the lighting issue, the underpass has space for two lanes of traffic, but only one is open. Drivers who are familiar with the darkness say they turn on the headlights to prepare.
"Every time I take it to go to Brooklyn, I know because I've gone through it, I know to put my lights on," said one driver. "I'm sure it could be hazardous if you don't know about it.
"We are going through every day, so we know the routine, but for a new person, it might be a little tricky," said another.
The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel is the responsibility of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but the underpass is actually under the jurisdiction of the city's Department of Transportation. It's been more than 16 months since Hurricane Sandy struck.
"They reconstructed it, but it is very dark, and a lot of the time, an obstacle," said one driver
A spokeswoman for the city DOT said that the underpass is only open to one lane of traffic because of safety. As for a fix, she said that the design for a project to make repairs to the tunnel's ventilation, lighting and electrical power is nearly complete, with work expected to start later this year. Drivers hope it happens soon.