$11.6 billion NYC-area tunnel project reaches milestone

The project is estimated to cost about $11.6 billion and involves reconstructions and the addition of one more tunnel to link New York and New Jersey. 

The two U.S. agencies charged with spearheading the project (The Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration) made a joint pronouncement on Friday, stating that they have crossed the two vital prerequisites needed for the project to qualify for advancement and federal funding. 

Both the FTRA and the FTA issued, in collaboration, the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision for the Hudson Tunnel Project. This is a remarkable achievement mainly because of the level of importance of the project to the economic connectivity of the Northeast.

“This is a big step for the Northeast, and the entire country, as these tunnels connect so many people, jobs, and businesses,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated.

A little under 500 trains use the tunnel every week and, prior to the COVID-19 crisis, up to 200,000 passengers plowed that route weekly.

The rail infrastructure in New York City is structurally old and “tired” and the Hudson Tunnel Project is only an aspect of the much wider Gateway Program, which aims to fix and upgrade the city’s rail network.

The department stated that “no federal funding has been dedicated for the Hudson Tunnel project to date as completion of these two steps is a prerequisite for either agency to direct future federal funding to advance this project”.

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