Biden to announce $300M grant for Gateway Tunnel during NYC visit

Biden to announce $300M grant for Gateway Tunnel during NYC visit

President Joe Biden will visit New York Metropolis Tuesday to announce the primary federal grant to construct new passenger rail tunnels beneath the Hudson River, marking the newest step ahead for the long-stalled Gateway Program.

The $300 million award is only a small fraction of the $16.1 billion officers have requested for the venture.

Officers from New York and New Jersey have deliberate to construct the brand new tunnels between the 2 states for practically a decade. The present 113-year-old tubes have been broken by Hurricane Sandy, and officers behind the venture say they can not be repaired till the brand new tunnels are constructed.

The cash shall be used to full the concrete casing for the brand new tunnels on the Manhattan aspect.

“There is no bigger advocate for our project and for transformative infrastructure projects than President Biden,” stated Stephen Sigmund, a spokesperson for the Gateway Improvement Fee, the bi-state group in control of the venture.

Final fall, the Gateway Improvement Fee added one other $2 billion to the brand new tunnels’ price ticket. New York and New Jersey have requested a complete of $6.7 billion from the Federal Transit Administration for the venture. Officers behind the venture hope to get sign-off for that federal grant within the spring of 2024, which might be the biggest ever award by the FTA for the reason that company was based in 1964.

The 2 states have agreed to cut up the rest of the venture’s price.

If the feds log out on the cash for the venture subsequent 12 months, officers stated building might start the next fall. If that schedule holds, trains might start crossing the brand new tunnels by 2035. It might take one other three years to absolutely rehabilitate the previous tunnel, finishing your complete venture in 2038 — or 15 years from now.

The Gateway Program consists of one other eight tasks to broaden passenger rail capability throughout the Hudson, like extending Penn Station a block south and rebuilding a number of bridges in New Jersey. The Federal Railway Administration estimates all of the tasks will price a mixed $40 billion.

Tom Wright, President and CEO of the Regional Plan Affiliation, stated in an e mail the brand new tunnel “remains the Tri-state’s most critical large-scale infrastructure priority.”

The Obama administration secured a dedication with New York and New Jersey in 2015 to fund the venture, however the venture stalled during the Trump administration.

“We are energetic and enthusiastic partners on this project,” US Division of Transportation Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg advised Gothamist. “I can just tell you here at US DOT, from the secretary on down, we are very engaged in working with the two states, with Amtrak, with the Port Authority to do everything we can to get through all the steps that are needed to access federal funds, all the approvals that are needed on the federal level.”

Different work on the Gateway Program is already underway. For instance, officers have since 2017 introduced a number of groundbreakings for New Jersey’s Portal North Bridge alternative.

However there are additionally main questions round plans to broaden Penn Station a block south, which might add extra tracks to deal with the additional trains that can run via the brand new tunnels. Officers peg that venture’s price at practically $11 billion.

On prime of all that, Gov. Kathy Hochul has proposed an overhaul of current Penn Station and its surrounding neighborhood — a venture that isn’t included within the Gateway Program and is estimated to price $22 billion.

The way forward for Hochul’s overhaul stays unsure, however the governor stated she’s dedicated to seeing it to completion.

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