$12.3b Hudson Tunnel Will Help Alleviate NJ to NYC Railway Commute

The federal government is now beginning to support the tunnel's construction.

Source : Unsplash Thomas Lefebvre

June 6, 2022

Author : Patty Allen

The commuting system and traffic conditions in New York City are legendary. If you have ever taken an Amtrak in the Northeast Corridor into New York City from New Jersey or further north, you went through a tunnel beneath the Hudson River. 

Commuters face delays often. Yet a recent announcement by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) suggests that policymakers are seeking to remedy the situation.

In late March the USDOT announced, that with federal funding granted under the IIJA (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act), the Hudson Tunnel Project  in the New Jersey and New York area will receive an extra $100 million. 

Funds will be provided for the construction of a new commuter tunnel beneath the Hudson River while also rehabilitating the present tunnel, which was damaged by sea water during Superstorm Sandy. The project is expected to cost $12.3 billion in total.

If the project is successfully carried out it will be highly beneficial for those commuting along the Northeast Corridor (NEC), considered one of the busiest railway lines in America. 

Approximately 800,000 daily passengers are carried by more than 2,000 trains every day across eight states and Washington, DC.

The Hudson Tunnel Project was first announced by Amtrak, NY, and NJ Transit in 2011, and has been underway for more than a decade. If the most recent funding request is included in the Appropriations Bill for 2023, it will be the first time it receives federal support. 

Since 2012, Amtrak and the states of New York and New Jersey have contributed $800 million to the project, which has started construction on two sections of the tunnel from Penn Station to 10th Street and purchased space in Manhattan for a new vent shaft and fan plant.

The tunnel is part of a wider endeavor by Amtrak to improve services across the country. It’s part of the Gateway Program, which aims to improve train infrastructure from Washington, DC, to Boston throughout the Northeast Corridor. 

“The project will generate 72,000 new jobs and $19 billion in economic activity,” said Stephen Sigmund, Chief spokesperson of the Gateway Project. “[It will] reduce emissions, and most importantly, finally deliver a faster, more reliable, more resilient 21st Century rail connection into and out of New York and modernize the busiest section of the Northeast Corridor.”

Amtrak and New Jersey Transit (NJT) right now share a pair of tunnels that pass under the Hudson River. The Hudson Tunnel Project will add another pair of tunnels, so that the current tunnels will be closed for rehabilitation, without disrupting train service. Eventually this will allow for double the amount of train services between NJ and NYC.

New construction and repair works across the country are being ramped up as the IIJA’s $1.2 trillion nationwide funding kicks in.

The IIJA is providing $4.1 billion for mass transportation in New Jersey alone, which is set to greatly assist in relieving highway congestion. $1 billion is set aside for funding highway projects across the state. There is other funding as well through different programs created under the new infrastructure law.

The state will benefit from some of the $8.1 billion set aside for rural road repairs and “mega” projects that don’t fit into other categories.

New Jersey and New York City residents are now waiting with bated breath to see the actualization of these projects and how they will impact their lives.

Category : Federal Government State Government Railroads

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