NEW YORK -- President Coolidge, the governors of New York and New Jersey, and thousands of residents of the two states participated today in the formal opening of the $48,000,000 Holland vehicular tunnel under the Hudson river connecting New York city with Jersey City.
At the White House in Washington Mr. Coolidge pressed a button, causing flags to be unfurled at each end of the gigantic engineering triumph. And while New Yorkers and Jerseyites for two hours between 5 and 7 p. m. inspected the 9,250-foot tunnel under the river, Mrs. Anna D. Holland, widow of the man who threw the first shovel full of dirt, beginning its construction seven years ago, prepared to be the first person to ride through it, after its formal opening to vehicular traffic.
DREAM IS REALIZED.
President Coolidge's act at 5 p.m., marked the completion of work on the engineering masterpiece, dream of engineers for generations. The Holland tunnel, named for Clifford M. Holland, first engineer of the work, had lecome a reality, and millions of persons who will use it awaited its official opening to interstate traffic at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
Shortly after the two flags had been unfurled, Governors Smith of New York, and Moore of New Jersey, led an official ride of inspection through the tunnel. Little Anne Boyle Egner, granddaughter of John P. Boyle, member of the New Jersey tunnel commission, cut the cord stretched precisely on the New York-New Jersey line of the tunnel.
ENGINEER GAVE LIFE.
Mrs. Holland, who came with her four daughters from their home in Cambridge, Mass., for the ceremonies, experienced mixed pride and sorrow as she heard state and city executives praise the achievement of her husband, who was 36 when he was placed in charge of the huge undertaking. Holland was appointed in 1919 and died in 1924 from a heart attack induced by overwork.
"Evening after evening he remained at work," said Mrs. Holland today. "Our dinner hour was always uncertain. If we induced him to attend the theater, he always went back to the tunnel afterward, spending hours to the field offices and personally supervising the work. Always it was the tunnel he was thinking of."
BIG POLICE FORCE.
A police force adequate to protect many a small city in the United States has been assembled to work in the new tunnel. A ventilating system that would care for the ventilation of many a good-sized community is part of the equipment of the huge project. Every hour 3.800 vehicles can pass through it, its daily capacity is 46,000 vehicles and in a year 15,000,000 can traverse it. Every minute 84 whirling fans will cause 3,761,000 cubic feet of fresh air to pass through the 9,250 feet of the tunnel, from state to state. The ventilation system to overcome the dangerous carbon-monoxide from auto exhausts was one of the greatest problems of the work, and is considered a marvel of engineering.
The special police force of 208 members, including three captains and 15 sergeants, is to be known as the Holland tunnel police. Every member of the unique police department is a traffic officer, an auto mechanic a fireman or a wrecking crew expert and of them will be stationed every 200 feet in the tunnel.
The traveling tune from New York to New Jersey is expected to be from five to seven minutes for passenger cars driving through the tunnel.
Governors Smith and Moore and other executives united at the opening ceremonies in praising the engineering achievement as one of the greatest in the history of the world. Throughout the day and night the dedication exercises were carried to thousands of persons outside New York by means of radio.