NY Tunnel Project Receives $6.8b in Federal Funds

The new Gateway Project is expected to create 72,000 jobs.

Source : Unsplash

July 17, 2023

Author : Patty Allen

The Big Apple is all set to get a big investment. Traveling to and from NYC can become extremely cumbersome both by road or with Amtrak. But it is all set to change, thanks to the significant funding approved for the Hudson Tunnel project.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) achieved a huge win after federal funding allocated $6.88b to build a second rail tunnel under the Hudson River. 

This funding to New York City represents the highest federal grant offered to any US mass transit project. However, the federal funding covers less than half the total project estimation of $16.8b; the remaining costs will be split between New York and New Jersey

Schumer and the Biden administration's major infrastructure pet project, Gateway Project, comprises the two-rail tunnel project. The project is expected to create 72,000 jobs.

"This was the major hurdle, getting this kind of very large investment from the federal government, and here it is," said Schumer. "This is real, and it means there's no turning back now."

Schumer is personally pushing Pete Buttigieg, the Secretary of Transportation, to free the tunnel from the "hostage" status it has been in since the Trump administration. The tunnel project, designed in 2015, did not receive funding from former President Donal Trump.

The new two-tube tunnel will supplement the single-track tunnels that opened in 1910 and have been in poor condition since it got flooded during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The Hudson Tunnel is the main artery of the American Economy, and its impact can lead to a nationwide crisis.

The plan is projected to cost $16 billion when finished in 2035. Once the new tunnel is operational, Amtrak, which owns the current tunnels, will close the existing tracks for repairs and maintenance. They expect to finish the rehabilitation of old tunnels one at a time by 2038. 

According to state and federal officials, these renovations will increase the Northeast Corridor train line's capacity twofold, enhancing rail accessibility from Washington, DC, to Boston and other cities.

Gateway's planners expect to receive more funding from other federal programs to increase Washington's share of the total cost to at least half the estimated project cost. 

The Biden administration granted the tunnel project $295 million in funding this January, with the finances allotted under the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in 2021.

Amtrak estimates that the capacity of trains between Penn Station and areas west of the Hudson would be reduced by 75% during rush hours if one of the current tracks had to be shut down before the new tunnel was open. According to Mr. Schumer and other Democrats, this reduction will sharply drop commercial activity along the East Coast, destroying the American economy.

The New Jersey Democratic governor Philip D. Murphy stated he would work with Capitol Hill officials in Washington to secure the remaining finance required to complete the most crucial infrastructure project in the country.

Category : Department of Transportation State Government Freeways and Highways

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