Senators Booker & Menendez applaud $6.88B allocation for Hudson River Tunnel project


U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez (both D-NJ) are applauding the $6.88 billion federal funding allocation for the Hudson River Tunnel project.

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (left) and Cory Booker. Facebook photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“This is a massive step forward for the most important infrastructure project in the country. I’ve fought for years to make Gateway a reality, and this is a culmination of those efforts,” Menendez said in a statement.

“The Hudson River tunnels entering into engineering puts us on a direct path to receiving billions of dollars in federal funding for a project that will facilitate increased capacity along the entire Northeast Corridor—a region that accounts for 20 percent of national GDP—and provide thousands of New Jerseyans who commute to New York every day with better, safer, and more reliable service.”

New Jersey’s senior senator continued that the project will be important to have 21st century infrastructure in New Jersey and New York, as well as thanking the President Joe Biden (D) administration and the governors and congressional delegations from both states.

“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in the construction of the Hudson River Tunnel project. Entering the engineering phase puts this project on track to receive the substantial federal investments that will ensure the long-term reliability and resilience of the Northeast Corridor,” explained Booker.

“This is a crucial step forward in advancing regional connectivity, supporting economic growth, and enhancing the lives of millions of commuters. I will continue to work with the Biden Administration and congressional colleagues to secure the federal funding that will see Gateway through to completion.”

Once the project begins, it is expected to create more than 72,000 American jobs in the region.

The Hudson River Tunnel project is part of the Gateway Program, a series of strategic infrastructure investments designed to improve rail service in New York and New Jersey.

The Hudson River Tunnel project is particularly critical because the existing North River Tunnel serving Penn Station is more than 110 years old and was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

While the tunnel has been repaired frequently, its age and damaged condition present reliability concerns for more than 200,000 people who travel through the tunnel on more than 400 trains every weekday.

According to a study by the Northeast Corridor Commission, commuters in 2020 were delayed more than 210 hours due to maintenance issues.

The Hudson River Tunnel project will build a new two-track rail tunnel from the Bergen Palisades in New Jersey to Manhattan, directly serving New York Penn Station and rehabilitating the existing North River Tunnel.

Additionally, as part of the construction, nearly 5,000 new affordable housing units will be created in the adjacent Hudson Yards.

The project will improve New Jersey Transit and Amtrak service for a region that impacts more than 20 percent of the nation’s economy. If the North River tunnel were to shut down for one day, it would cost the United States more than $100 million.

Last month, the DOT announced $25 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation Project in North Bergen, which is part of the larger Gateway project, as HCV first reported.

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