Restoration work finally complete on Superstorm Sandy-ravaged tunnels in New York City

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- There was a major milestone in the ongoing recovery effort from Superstorm Sandy Friday, as the restorations of the Queens-Midtown and Hugh L. Carey-Brooklyn Battery tunnels were completed.

Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement after inspecting the work.

Superstorm Sandy devastated the New York area in 2012, and the 9.5-foot storm surge flooded the tunnels and destroyed everything from the signals and the wiring to the ventilation systems and the roadway.

The tunnels had to be pumped out, and it took more than three years just to rebuild. The total restoration cost for both tunnels was $588 million.

Enormous floodgates were also placed on two entrances to both tunnels.

"These are basically large submarine doors," Cuomo said.

Both projects came in under budget and ahead of schedule, and much of the work was paid for with FEMA disaster relief funds.

The restoration of the two tunnels also included a complete rebuilding of the electrical, lighting and pumping systems, plus wall tiles and ceiling panels.

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