Menendez, Pascrell, Sires lead NJ delegation in urging DOT to build Hudson Tunnel

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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), along with U.S. Reps. Albio Sires (D-8) and  Bill Pascrell (D-9) are leading the New Jersey delegation in urging the U.S. Department of Transportation to move forward with the Hudson Tunnel project. 

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The Hudson Tunnel Project, which aims to replace a century-old tunnel system that serves 200,000 daily passengers, is the most urgent transportation infrastructure project in the country,” nine Democratic New Jersey-based federal lawmakers wrote in a letter to U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine Chao.

“These two tunnels, which have been worn down by decades of daily service and major storms, are critical to the regional and national economy. That is why we, along with the GPDC and various state and local partners, have strongly advocated for a thorough and timely review of proposals that are necessary to get the project underway.”

The other elected leaders who signed the letter, sent today, are U.S. Reps. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10), Mikie Sherrill (D-11), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12), Donald Norcross (D-1), Josh Gottheimer (D-5) and Andy Kim (D-3).

“The New Jersey delegation has been demanding for a long time to get the Hudson River Tunnels repaired and upgraded for the 21st century,” Pascrell added in a statement.

“I’m proud to continue to lead in this fight with Congressman Sires. We cannot let shutdowns and administrative delays get in the way of advancing the ball on this critical project.”

Menendez added that “we’re sitting on a transportation ticking time bomb” and it’s long overdue for the DOT to take action.

In April 2018, the DOT was one of several federal agencies to enter a Memorandum of Understanding to establish timely processing of environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects and “eliminate duplication of effort among agencies.”

Then, on December 10, 2018, 12 days before the most recent government shutdown began, the Federal Railroad Administration completed its review of the project’s environmental impact statement and sent it to the Federal Transit Administration for review.

The aforementioned legislators support Gateway Program Development Corporation Chairman Jerry Zaro’s proposal that the Trump administration’s “One Federal Decision” policy be used to complete and publish the Hudson Tunnel Project’s final environmental review.

Recent estimates for the project indicate that it could cost up to $30 billion.

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