BROOKLYN - (AP) - The former Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, a key New York City thoroughfare flooded by Superstorm Sandy, is being reopened to cars.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced the first phase of the tunnel's reopening.

Currently, only buses are using the tunnel and only on one lane. One of its two tubes is now open to cars, allowing for one-way car traffic at rush hour.

The tunnel is a major automotive link in the region. It connects Brooklyn to Manhattan under the mouth of the East River. In tandem with the Holland Tunnel, which reopened a week ago, it is a link in shepherding traffic to and from New Jersey.

It was recently renamed the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel.

The tunnel's other tube will be closed for perhaps several weeks as extensive repairs continue.

VIDEO: Cuomo on Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, LIRR Long Beach branchHugh L. Carey Tunnel reopens to rush-hour buses