The multi-billion-dollar plan to build a second rail tunnel under the Hudson River and fix the deteriorating existing one has hit another setback after President Donald Trump’s administration said on Friday it would not fund half of the project. As Crain’s first reported, the Federal Transit Administration wrote a letter to Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie in response to their revised plan to fund $5.5 billion of the $12.7 billion project. A top FTA official said the administration would not recognize the prior deal made between President Barack Obama and the states, calling it “a non-existent ’50/50′ agreement between USDOT, New York, and New Jersey.”
Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie on Thursday announced commitments to totally fund New York and New Jersey’s share of the Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project. The project aims to fix the 107-year-old tunnel damaged by seawater during Hurricane Sandy. It serves as the only intercity passenger rail crossing into NYC from NJ, a critical link for 200,000 daily passengers. Although two state officials wrote letters to the U.S. Department of Transportation detailing their combined $5.5 billion funding of the project through various agencies, the Trump administration has not agreed to fund the rest of the $12.7 billion project. As Crain’s reported, a senior official at DOT called the states’ funding commitment “entirely unserious.”
Approval process for new $24 billion Hudson River tunnels fast-tracked; construction could start in 2019, Tue, October 18, 2016
The $24 billion plan to construct two rail tunnels beneath the Hudson River has been designated a priority, which will get it fast-tracked through environmental and permitting stages and trim development time by a year or more, the Wall Street Journal reports; with construction beginning in 2019, the tunnels could be operational as early as 2024, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said at a news conference at Penn Station on Friday. Both Amtrak and NJ Transit will use the new tunnels, which are among the first steps in a broader plan by Amtrak find ways to handle double the current number of passenger trains running beneath the Hudson River.