NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A downtown tunnel has been renamed in honor of the late former Gov. Hugh Carey.
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority officially renamed the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel on Monday, nearly two years after Albany gave the name change the green light.
Former Mayor Ed Koch lobbied for the change, calling it a fitting tribute for a man who is credited with saving New York during the fiscal crisis in the 1970s and helping create Battery Park City, the Jacob K. Javits Center, and the South Street Seaport.
“He was one of the great governors of the state of New York, vastly unappreciated,” Koch said. “Without him we would’ve crashed and gone into bankruptcy.”
City, state and MTA officials were joined by Carey’s relatives at the 11 a.m. dedication ceremony.
“Governor Carey was a true New Yorker and dedicated public servant who saved our state from the brink of bankruptcy and financial ruin,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “A true son of Brooklyn, it is only fitting that we dedicate one of the borough’s most important transportation links to a great leader who was known for his energy, enthusiasm and love of New York and for all New Yorkers.”
“The New York that stands today is a testament to Governor Carey’s foresight and fortitude,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “His impact on our city will be felt for generations to come – and today, we are making sure his name and legacy is remembered for generations to come.”
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“He did what right and did not worry about the consequences for himself. He made the difficult decisions and left his own fate to the universe,” said Former Gov. David Paterson. “He was dynamic, articulate, perceptive, courageous, and outspoken, especially outspoken.”
“He was the best ever,” said Former Gov. Mario Cuomo.
Carey served two terms as governor from 1975 to 1982 after seven terms as a congressman from Brooklyn. He died last year at age 92.
The tunnel, which connects Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, opened to traffic on May 25, 1950. It was used as a primary conduit for emergency and recovery efforts after the 9/11 terror attacks.