Now that he’s done battling the state for MTA funding, perhaps Mayor de Blasio can set his sights on the Port Authority and the long-proposed Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel. Representative Jerrold Nadler has been pushing for the freight rail tunnel for three decades, but the Bloomberg administration was strongly against it. Now, Nadler has a supporter in de Blasio, and the Port Authority is even studying the plan, which calls for a tunnel running from Jersey City to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and another into Queens and Long Island.
Why do politicians feel a multibillion-dollar tunnel is necessary? WNYC points out that NYC is the most truck-dependent city in the nation. Ninety percent of the 400 million tons of freight that come through the city each year travel by truck. The reason is that “New York City has no direct link to the national freight rail network, so goods coming into the ports and rail yards in New Jersey mostly cross the river by truck.” Nadler has claimed that the new tunnel would take 2,500 trucks off the Hudson River crossings every day, thereby reducing pollution and the price of goods.