New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) co-wrote a letter to President Barack Obama (D) asking for federal funding to cover 50 percent of the expenses associated with a proposed $20 billion trans-Hudson rail tunnel.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The three-page letter, dated today, asks for 50 percent of the roughly $20 billion project’s costs to come from federal funding, with the other 50 percent to be split between New Jersey and New York.
“One of the region’s major critical major infrastructure projects, however, languished for years: a new Hudson River rail tunnel. Acknowledged as a national priority, the rail tunnel connects New Jersey with New York,” the letter says.
“More importantly, it is the lynchpin for Amtrak’s entire 457 mile-long Northeast Corridor route that is used by 750,000 passengers daily and serves eight states and the District of Colombia. The existing 105-year-old rail tunnel has been deteriorating for years now and is well beyond critical in its need for repair.”
The letter continues by stating that Hurricane Sandy further worsened the situation, and acknowledges that the task at hand will cost more than a new La Guardia Airport, Tappan Zee Bridge and the raising of the Bayonne Bridge combined.
Declaring a new-Trans Hudson rail tunnel “impossible without federal assistance,” Christie and Cuomo note that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, as well as U.S. Sens. Chuck Shumer (D-NY), Cory Booker and Bob Menendez (both D-NJ) all support the endeavor.
Furthermore, if the federal government is willing to take on half of the costs, the PANYNJ has agreed to develop “a funding plan for the other half, convening all relevant agencies, and utilizing the proposed federal low-interest loan, local funding sources and other funding strategies necessary.”
The letter concludes by stating:
“We appeal to you because your direct help made the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York a reality and expedited federal assistance for New Jersey’s massive Superstorm Sandy recovery effort. Your support of both those projects set records for accelerating infrastructure projects.”
Minutes ago, Christie, a Republican presidential candidate who recently went after Obama over violence against cops, tweeted his satisfaction with the proposal minutes ago.
A copy of the letter can be read here.