Tunnels: the Plans, the Pitfalls, and the Promises

Mar 18, 2016

What if commuting between Connecticut and Long Island meant hopping into a car and driving through a tunnel deep below Long Island Sound? Sounds far-fetched, right?

Well, if you're New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, you might not think so. And if you're Amtrak, you might think it shouldn't be cars driving under the Sound, but trains connecting the Northeast Corridor

But how exactly do you build a tunnel under water? What are some of the environmental, technological, and political factors that have to be taken into consideration? This hour, we take a closer look.

We also chat with Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker about plans to repair Heroes Tunnel in New Haven, Connecticut.


  • Nasri Munfah - Chairman of HNTB Tunnel Services; adjunct professor at Columbia University, where he teaches courses on tunneling and underground engineering
  • Sarah Laskow - Staff writer for Atlas Obscura
  • Yonah Freemark - City planner and project manager at the Metropolitan Planning Council in Chicago; his blog is called The Transport Politic 
  • James Redeker - Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation

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John Dankosky and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.