Funding secured for $11.1bn United States rail project

16 December, 2017, 07:47 | Author: Darnell Patrick
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie commit to funding their halves of Gateway Tunnel

The two states would take out a 35-year, $1.75 billion loan, with NY paying it back using money from its budget.

Together, the three funding commitments will cover 100 percent of the local share for the most urgent, time sensitive elements of the project: the construction of a new tunnel and the Hudson Yards concrete casing, which total $11.1 billion of the $12.7 billion construction cost.

In the first decade of this century, however, construction was about to begin on new rail tunnels into NY.

Under a 2015 deal between the two states and then-President Barack Obama's administration, the federal government agreed to pay for half the project.

"Now the federal government must fulfill its commitment to fund the other half and make this urgent, long-overdue project a reality", Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

The tunnel is an essential part of the Northeast Corridor that connects NY and New Jersey and is the nation's most critical major infrastructure project, according to a joint press release issued by the governors' offices.

Further compounding the issue is the lack of redundant capability across the Hudson River into Penn Station New York, resulting in a single point-of-failure.

NY and New Jersey officials are renewing their push to get the federal government to make good on its commitment to pay for half of the $12.7 billion Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project after announcing that all the state and local money is now lined up.


"The Gateway Tunnel is critical to the long term vitality of the entire Northeast region and one of the most important infrastructure projects in the country", Cuomo said.

NY and New Jersey would pay half the cost.

NY intends to fund its share by obtaining a $1.75 billion, 35-year loan from the federal Department of Transportation's Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing program.

In its own letter to the GDC, NJ Transit, the state's public transportation corporation, said it would increase charges on NJ Transit rail passenger trips across the Hudson to $1.70 in 2028 and $2.20 in 2038 from $.90 beginning in 2020. However, once Donald Trump took office, the fate of the project became uncertain.

NJ Transit customers will be expected foot the cost of New Jersey's share of the project cost through user charges on trains using the new the tunnels in and out of Manhattan.

Amtrak did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Amtrak said the existing tunnel could fail in 10 to 15 years due to damage from Superstorm Sandy. They believe the work is necessary to avoid the "disastrous scenario" of a closure of one of the two tubes of the existing Amtrak North River Tunnel, which would slow rail traffic to a crawl.

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