The Builder of World’s ‘Eighth Wonder’ Who Died of Stresstags: Holland Tunnel, Clifford Holland
The Holland Tunnel, which stresses out many of the 35 million drivers who pass through it annually, has nothing to do with the Dutch and everything to do with a health warning: Beware, all that stress might kill you.
The Tunnel, which opened on Nov. 13, 1927, commemorates the engineer who designed it, Clifford Holland. He achieved immortality because he did not live to see his great creation. Only 41, he died on Oct. 27, 1924—crushed by the kind of tension his tunnel now mass-produces.
In fairness, his were the grand worries of the Master Builder, trying to engineer a new approach to an ancient problem: How can humans cross the river? Approximately 20,000 commuters ferried between New Jersey and New York daily. The trip was long—and the lines to get onto the ferries, longer. Moving freight was expensive and unreliable. When the river iced over, Manhattan was isolated. After New Yorkers could not get coal for heating during the harsh winter of 1917 to 1918, much of the opposition to the proposed tunnel finally melted away...
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