There are so many things that can go wrong behind the wheel of a car, and many of us have fears about certain driving conditions as a result. Some of us are afraid of driving behind open trailers after watching the Final Destination series, while others don’t like to drive on highways or in bad weather. One of the most common fears that people have on the road is driving through tunnels. The very idea of it is a bit creepy, traveling under a river and putting your faith in the integrity of a structure that was built decades ago, and maintained by state and local governments that tend to neglect infrastructure.
This worst fear became a reality for drivers in New York, when water began flooding into the Lincoln Tunnel this week. Terrified drivers thought that perhaps the Hudson river was leaking into the tunnel and that the tunnel might collapse.
This reminds me of the old Sylvester Stallone disaster movie ‘Daylight’ in the Lincoln Tunnel. 2020 is half following every disaster movie plot so far. pic.twitter.com/vGsxR0U9rc
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) July 16, 2020
The mile-and-a-half-long tunnel is over 80 years old and roughly 1.5 million vehicles pass through the tunnel going into New York in an average month. It was later announced that the tunnel would be closed for maintenance after the massive flood.
The Lincoln Tunnel Center Tube to NJ is experiencing delays due to emergency maintenance. 
— Lincoln Tunnel. Wear a Face Covering. (@PANYNJ_LT) July 14, 2020
However, shortly after the incident happened, Snopes was quick to fact-check many stories that were coming out and were able to clarify that it was actually a water main leak, and not a flood from the river.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which maintains the tunnel, said the water wasn’t from the Hudson. Spokeswoman Amanda Kwan said in an email that the flooding was from a water main rupture in a facility room.
“It was fixed and all water from the rupture has been pumped out as designed,” Kwan told Snopes.
The agency claims that the flood was no the result of any kind of structural damage.
The Lincoln Tunnel is one of two tunnels built under the Hudson River, the other being the Holland Tunnel between Jersey City, New Jersey, and Lower Manhattan. The Lincoln Tunnel is also one of six tolled crossings in the New York area owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The Lincoln Tunnel was originally proposed in the late 1920s and early 1930s as the Midtown Hudson Tunnel. The tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel were constructed in multiple stages between 1934 and 1957. Construction of the central tube, which originally lacked sufficient funding due to the Great Depression, started in 1934 and it opened in 1937. The northern tube started construction in 1936, was delayed due to material shortages caused by the second world war. It finally opened after the war in 1945. Although the original plans for the Lincoln Tunnel called for two tubes, a third tube to the south of the existing tunnels was planned in 1950 due to high traffic demand on the other two tubes. The third tube started construction in 1954, with the delay attributed to disputes over tunnel approaches, and it opened in 1957. Since then, the Lincoln Tunnel has undergone a series of gradual improvements, including changes to security and tolling methods.