S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Long Island Sound Tunnel Page keywords = Long Island New York Connecticut tunnel rail road way Nassau Fairfield auto truck train freight passenger terminal terminus

Updated:   21 Nov 2013, 10:50  ET
[Page created 09 Jun 2001; converted 16 Aug 2012
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/connyl.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/connyl.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Long Island Sound
Tunnel Page


On this page (some background follows):

    Long Island Sound Tunnel.

Geological Considerations.
Original Concept (09 June 2001).



In the 03 June 2001 issue of NEWSDAY (Long Island's première newspaper), on the cover page and page B2 of Section B, retiring editorial writer Robert Wiemer, in his lead "valedictory Sunday edit", "The Outer Burrow", advances the idea of substituting a tunnel for the failed Rye-Oyster Bay bridge proposal.  This idea has significant merit.  The land necessary to accomplish such a vast project lies available and fallow.  The Long Island interchange already exists; it is the incomplete northern end of the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway (I-135) at Jericho Turnpike in Syosset.  The major advantage of the Rye landing is that it keeps the project entirely within New York State and connects with the Cross Westchester Expressway.

While appreciating Mr. Wiemer's arguments, this writer suggests one major change in routing, however; instead of running from Oyster Bay, in Nassau County, New York to Rye, in Westchester County, New York, the tunnel should be routed from Syosset, Nassau County, New York and under the northwestern corner of Lloyd Neck to the Noroton-Norwalk region of Fairfield County, Connecticut, perhaps coming ashore under Long Neck Point, only some 5½ miles (9km) across the Sound.  The reason for proposing this routing is that the Rye landing favors southbound or westbound off-island traffic to the detriment of northbound or eastbound off-island traffic and vice-versa.  Travelers heading for upstate New York or New Jersey would not be seriously inconvenienced by a Connecticut landing and those heading for New England and Canada would be greatly helped.  Those heading for central or southern New Jersey and points south or west (Washington or Pennsylvania, etc.) already have a NYC bypass in the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge crossing; going through Rye would require transiting NYC or detouring all the way north to the Tappan Zee crossing.  Crossing to the Noroton area, east of congested Stamford, gives northbound traffic access to Route 7 at nearby Norwalk, Route 8 at Bridgeport, and I-91 at New Haven, while eastbound traffic has access to both I-95 and the Wilbur Cross Parkway to Providence and Boston.

The acronym "CONNYL" has been chosen to represent the CONNecticut (CONN.) New York (NY) TunneL, in the same manner as "CHUNNEL" is the acronym for the England to France CHannel TUNNEL and "STRUNNEL" is the acronym for the U.S. (Alaska) to Russia (Siberia) Bering STRait TUNNEL.

On 28 September 1992, the writer sent a proposal for a Bering Strait Tunnel to the Clinton for President headquarters in Little Rock, which he or his staff ignored (of course), and re-sent it on 09 March 1993 when President Clinton was about to meet in Vancouver with Russian President Yeltsin and Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney (again it was ignored).  It was a serious proposal in the first place and still merits serious consideration.  On 17 July 1999, a reminder of the proposal was sent to the White House and a similar message was sent to Canadian Governor General Roméo leBlanc (Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's links didn't work) on 28 July 99, both referring to that proposal and the Strunnel page on this Website, with a later follow-up letter to M. Chrétien, all (unsurprisingly) to no avail.  More recently, new proposals were sent to President Bush and again to Prime Minister Chrétien, with copies to V.P. Cheney, Gov. Knowles of Alaska, Premier Dosanjh of British Columbia, Premier Duncan of the Yukon, and to the appropriate U.S. Secretaries and Canadian Ministers and the AAR.  After all these years, serious interest is at long last beginning to surface on both sides of the border.

Similarly, building up a steady pressure for the present Connyl proposal will eventually bear fruit; the need is pressing and the technology, as Mr. Wiemer points out in his excellent editorial, is quite readily available.

Long Island Sound Tunnel

The Connyl

The CONNYL could be restricted to auto traffic (unlike the Chunnel, which is dedicated to rail traffic); however, rail links between the LIRR and the Northeast Corridor line could be incorporated as well.

The Connyl concept is primarily focused on relieving automobile traffic into and out of the northwest corner of Long Island (the Triborough-Whitestone-Throg's Neck bridges bottleneck), both for the benefit of that area and for the motorist facing interminable delays transiting NYC.  It is an easy engineering feat (vis-à-vis the Chunnel).

A general map of the area and proposed right-of-way will follow.

The Connyl would directly link two economically powerful areas of two major states - the North Shore (Gold Coast) of long Island, New York, and Fairfield County, Connecticut; there would be a great enhancement of employment and commerce and existing (and significant) commutation would be greatly eased.

Obviously, detailed surveys of the possible RoW locations would have to be made on both sides of the Sound before any final RoW could be laid out.

To further develop the concept, oil and natural gas pipelines and high-tension electrical cables might be incorporated in the project, allowing direct transfer of these resources between the two states, provided safety was paramount.

The Connyl can work and will pay for itself in a few years.  It can be done; all we need is vision and leadership.

Geological Considerations

As noted above, there are no major considerations in crossing the Sound; the project lies well within the available technology; there are several methods available, including a coaxial tube arrangement with the inner tube suspended in a flooded outer tube, a long, gradual "S"-curve in the tunnel, flexible, pressure-tight swivel joints, and the like.

Most of the work on the Long Island end will be in glacial moraine (sand and clay).  By starting the Long Island adit (sloping tunnel) immediately north of the present end of I-135 just north of Jericho Turnpike, in previously-condemned property, environmental impact there is minimized and the adit would start at a relatively low spot and bore under the high Harbor Hill terminal moraine, avoiding all surface work in the very communities which fought Moses and the Rye-Oyster bay bridge to a standstill.

The only serious threat faced is the possibility of ship collision at the landward ends if the tubes lie on the Sound bottom instead of being under the bottom.

The CHUNNEL had massive 55m (180') diameter construction shafts sunk inland even before the adits (sloping tunnels) were built from the surface even further inland.  Should such be required on Long Island, there is ample open land in the northwest corner of Caumsett State Park, where such work could be done without cutting trees or having any significant adverse effect on the environment; equipment and materials could be barged in to spare the local roads, especially the Lloyd Neck Causeway.

Some musings on a Connecticut landing

(Connecticut environmentalists and civic groups - these are NOT recommendations, only ideas for devil's advocacy based on maps)

An air shaft and construction access (if one is even required) might be bored inshore on Great Island, a peninsula on the northeast end of Long Neck Point and a ramp for automobile traffic could fit in nicely between the Stamford-New Canaan line and Ponus Point Road north of the Merritt Parkway and only some 3 miles from Exit 35.  This would leave trucks in the middle of nowhere, however.  The arterial highway running north out of the middle of Norwalk (to link with Route 7), from Exit 15 on the Connecticut Turnpike (I-95) through Exit 39/40B on the Merritt Parkway (Route 15), would be an ideal access, but it starts in an inconceivably-dense section of Old Norwalk, an historic district to boot!  However, if a shaft (if one is even needed) were bored at Manresa Island at the southwest corner of Norwalk Harbor and the land between the Metro North/Amtrak line on the south and the Connecticut Turnpike on the north, east of Triangle Street in Norwalk and west of the Norwalk-Westport line, and even south of the tracks just west of the intersection of the Turnpike (Exit 17) and Saugatuck Avenue, were used for the tunnel mouth, access for all types of vehicles to the Turnpike would be immediate, and it is only three miles west to the arterial highway and Route 7 for any northbound traffic and the Merritt Parkway for automobiles heading east or west along the shore and shunning the Pike.

The original 09 June 2001 concept:

{This is an old idea, not unique to me, and 09 Jun 2001 is when the ideas all jelled, precipitated by the NEWSDAY article -( added 16 Jun 2001).}

Kennedy had his 'man on the moon' dream and we actually did it.  How about something not quite so monumental, but a tremendous shot in the arm for Long Island's, New York's, Connecticut's, and New England's economies.

Turkey bridged the Bosporus, Japan built its Tsugaru Straits tunnel between Honshu and Hokkaido, TransManche Link completed the Chunnel between England and France, and now Italy is acccepting bids for an enormous Straits of Messina bridge to connect Sicily and the mainland (a two-mile suspension bridge)!  Why don't we build a tunnel under Long Island Sound and link the Island with Connecticut and the rest of New England?  We no longer have any significant ferry interests and the construction industries can use a boost.

By tunneling, we would minimize the environmental impact and avoid the hazards of weather and the need for massive bridging.

This is a project whose time has come and which would show vision and practicality.  Goods which now take all day to get around the Queens bottleneck would arrive in an hour or so.  Cross-Sound tourism would skyrocket and inland attrections, such as the New England Air Museum and the Trolley Museum in the Hartford area, and the aquaria and other shore attractions, such as Mystic Seaport and the Branford Trolley Museum, as well as the Native American casinos, would all benefit.

I have not researched the route any further to date.

{preliminary - to be continued}

Attractions on Long Island are easily seen at NEWSDAY's Fun Book and those in Connecticut at the Connecticut Tourism site.

For examples of the latest in tunnelling equipment, methods, and projects, visit the site of the Herrenknecht companies.

(This is a referral only; not a recommendation.)

It is interesting to note historically that this proposed tunnel almost-exactly parallels the surface route of the Oyster Bay-Wilson Point car ferry which ran ever-so-briefly from 12 Sep 1891 to 13 Jul 1892, taking passengers on Long Island Rail Road cars across the sound to link up with the New York & New England RR and so from Brooklyn to Boston (see my LIRR Page 1).   rev (21 Nov 2013)

Wilson Pt 1
(08 Oct 02 map by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Wilson Pt 3
(08 Oct 02 map by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
{Thumbnail image - click on picture for a larger image]

See also the TRUNNEL (New York Harbor Tunnel) page.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


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