In this 1937 photo above, cars are parked near the site of the shaft which had abandoned a decade earlier.
Ground had been broken in 1923 for a Staten Island-Brooklyn subway tunnel in St. George.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority head Tom Prendergast explained to Borough President James Oddo this month that connecting Staten Island to Brooklyn through a rail tunnel would be particularly challenging.
“Even 90 years ago, funding constraints were a major consideration in the decision to not undertake a complex and at times, politically charged, project,” Prendergast wrote to Oddo on Oct. 3.
Plans for a subway link to Brooklyn were among reasons why Staten Islanders wanted to consolidate with the other four boroughs in 1898. A decade before that, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad proposed a tunnel between Brooklyn and Staten Island but the the plan was never funded.
Such a connection to the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit (or BMT) subway system was actually mapped as part of an expansion of additional lines through the Dual Contracts.
The idea was to extend the 4th Avenue BMT R line under the Narrows and connect it to what’s now called the Staten Island Railway.
“While a shaft was sunk about 150 feet into the Narrows, a rail tunnel from Owl’s Head Park to Staten Island never came to fruition,” Prendergast wrote to Oddo.
He added that no formal or informal studies have been conducted since the state legislature created what is now known as MTA New York City Transit in 1953.