The Holland Tunnel is a highway tunnel under the Hudson River connecting the island of Manhattan in New York City with Jersey City, New Jersey at Interstate 78 on the mainland. Unusual for an American public works project, it is not named for a government official, politician, a local hero or a person of historical interest but for its first chief engineer. The tunnel was originally known as the Hudson River Vehicular Tunnel or the Canal Street Tunnel; it was the first of two automobile tunnels built under the river, the other being the Lincoln Tunnel.
Begun in 1920 and completed in 1927, the tunnel is named after Clifford Milburn Holland (1883–1924), Chief Engineer on the project, who died before it was completed. Tunnel designer Ole Singstad finished Holland's work. The tunnel is one of the earliest examples of a mechanically ventilated design. 84 fans, in four ventilation buildings, create a floor to ceiling air flow across the roadway at regular intervals, via systems of ducts beneath and above the roadway. The fans can completely change the air inside the tunnel every 90 seconds. A forced ventilation system is essential because of the poisonous carbon monoxide component of automobile exhaust, which constituted a far greater percentage of exhaust gasses before catalytic converters became prevalent.