The closing means other routes into Manhattan from New Jersey will be clogged. The outbound lanes have been closed sporadically, and officials recommend that the tunnel be avoided altogether if at all possible.
The fire was reported midday Friday in a vacant brick warehouse that sits between the tunnel's entrance and exit lanes, just a few feet from the tunnel's toll booths. Firefighters were hampered from battling the blaze because of fears the building would collapse. A demolition crew, delayed by bureaucratic factors, starting pulling the building down Saturday night, but that only seemed to make the fire worse. Sunday, the fire spread across a passage that connects the warehouse to a second vacant warehouse, which was soon ablaze as well, fed by wooden supports and 18-inch-thick cork insulation in the former refrigerated storehouses.
Warehouse fires are notorious for being stubborn, firefighters told the New York Times, with one taking two weeks before it was put out.