Photo courtesy of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office
The long-awaited bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in the wee hours of last week’s end will mean billions of dollars in much-needed investment in New York City’s own infrastructure. The bill, which President Joe Biden has said he will sign this week, adds $550 billion to be spent on transportation, bringing the total to $1.2 trillion, as Gothamist reports. The New York City region will see that investment in the form of projects like the addition of subway station elevators, upgrades to Amtrak–and a revival of the long-stalled Gateway Project‘s Hudson River tunnels. Carlo Scissura, president and chief executive officer of the New York Building Congress, said, “It really does transform the physical part of our region in a way that we haven’t had a federal investment like this in decades honestly.”
Find out more about the $$$$ headed for NYC
Rendering of a new entrance on 8th Avenue to Penn Station, part of the Empire Station Complex via Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office
The state will focus on restarting New York City’s economy by accelerating work on major infrastructure projects, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday. “There is no better time to build than right now,” Cuomo said during a press briefing. “You need to create jobs and you need to renew and repair this country’s economy and its infrastructure.” The governor said the state will fast-track infrastructure projects like the renovation and rebuild of Penn Station and LaGuardia Airport.
Photo by Ken on Flickr
A 109-year-old swing bridge will no longer be the bain of commuters’ existence. The United States Coast Guard agreed last week to permanently restrict when boats can pass under the Portal Bridge, which carries about 200,000 passengers daily to and from Penn Station via New Jersey Transit and Amtrak. The 1910 bridge’s aging mechanics frequently malfunction while opening and closing for maritime traffic, causing hourslong delays, felt especially during rush hour.
Photo courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
Despite a meeting in November to discuss the Gateway project, President Donald Trump has made it clear that the 2020 federal budget doesn’t specify an money for the much-needed rail tunnel under the Hudson River. U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Rosen told reporters Monday that, “Those transit projects are local responsibilities, and elected officials from New York and New Jersey are the ones accountable for them.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo replied in a statement, “These ridiculous claims should not be taken seriously,” calling the exclusion of funds for the project “political posturing.”
200,000 daily commuters hope somebody figures it out
If the only rail link between New Jersey and Manhattan shuttered, homes in the region would see a drop in home value by $22 billion, according to a report released on Tuesday. An analysis from the Regional Plan Association highlights the economic effects of a partial shutdown of the Hudson River tunnel, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy and carries 200,000 daily passengers via Amtrak and NJ Transit. To make repairs to the 110-year-old tunnels, officials have called for a $13 billion project that would construct a second tunnel to keep service operating while the existing tunnel is restored. But President Donald Trump’s administration said it will not support the Gateway tunnel project, making a partial shutdown of the tunnel more likely, according to the RPA (h/t Crain’s).
Get the details
Amtrak is taking a close look at Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s possibly-disaster-averting new L train repair strategy as a “common sense solution” for their own damaged tunnels between Manhattan and Queens, the Daily News reports. The agency would, of course, subject the tunnel fix to more scrutiny before making a decision. Amtrak chairman Anthony Coscia said “It is important for us to do a thorough vetting so that we can determine now at this stage whether it’s a methodology that we could use. Because if it is, it will make the process far less painful to our travelers,” much like the new subway solution would allegedly be.
Could this make the Gateway Project obsolete?
Last night, Governor Cuomo toured the Gateway Tunnel to survey its levels of corrosion and damage beneath the Hudson River. He was joined by the same experts from Cornell University’s College of Engineering and Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science who toured the Canarsie Tunnel last week with the Governor. The purpose of the tour was to provide insight into rehabilitating the Canarsie Tunnel ahead of the L train shutdown. However, the tour may definitely have done double duty as a push to the Trump administration, reiterating the importance of this critical project which won’t be able to go forward without federal support.
Find out more
Via Gov. Cuomo’s office on Flickr
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called his meeting with President Donald Trump “productive,” despite not reaching an agreement about the funding of a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River. The two Queens natives met for lunch at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the Gateway project, a plan to fix an existing train tunnel and build a new one, construct two new bridges, and expand Penn Station, estimated to cost $30 billion. “I think it’s fair to say the president was receptive to what we were talking about,” Cuomo said. But there is no timeline for the project, as the governor noted. “So we are nowhere right now,” Cuomo told reporters. “There is no clock ticking because there is no clock.”
More this way
Cuomo touring the tunnel in October; photo via governor’s office on Flickr
Gov. Andrew Cuomo will meet with President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday to discuss funding for the Gateway Tunnel Project, a plan which would fix an existing rail tunnel and build a new one under the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York City. In October, Cuomo sent the president a video of the severely damaged, century-old tunnel and called on the Trump administration to fund their share of the project, which is estimated to cost $30 billion. “The Federal Government poses many challenges for the State of New York but one of the top priorities is to replace the Gateway tunnels,” Cuomo said in a statement. “These tunnels are Federally owned by the Amtrak Corporation and must be replaced.”
As Politico reports, supporters of what many consider the region’s most crucial infrastructure project are cautiously optimistic for the project’s future for the first time since President Trump nixed federal funding. The massive project involves fixing the existing tunnel and constructing a new tunnel under the Hudson River.
Are changes afoot?