Evidence of the $16.1 billion, long-delayed, once-canceled effort to build a new tunnel linking New York and New Jersey will finally start appearing on Manhattan streets in the coming weeks.
(Bloomberg) — Evidence of the $16.1 billion, long-delayed, once-canceled effort to build a new tunnel linking New York and New Jersey will finally start appearing on Manhattan streets in the coming weeks.
Work is set to begin in Hudson Yards, the waterfront neighborhood on Manhattan’s west side, on a link to connect Penn Station with the Hudson Tunnel, the new regional and commuter rail link known as the Gateway project.
“I didn’t think a year ago that we were gonna be in a position where I could say, wow, we’re gonna see a shovel in the ground,” said Alicia Glen, New York commissioner and co-chair of the Gateway Development Commission, in an interview Wednesday. “But I feel pretty good about that.”
Construction was able to move forward after President Joe Biden announced a $292 million grant in January, allowing the commission in May to award a contract to Amtrak to begin work on the Hudson Yards link.
“I have never seen such tremendous movement that we’ve seen in the past year,” said Glen’s New Jersey counterpart, Balpreet Grewal-Virk.
Read more: NYC’s $16 Billion Gateway Tunnel Wins Key Access at Hudson Yards
Gateway is key to easing congestion under the Hudson River, a choke point on the Northeast Corridor that runs between Boston and Washington, the country’s busiest passenger-train route. The existing tunnel is more than a century old and increasingly unreliable, Amtrak says.
Efforts to build a new tunnel have been underway since the 1990s but have been plagued by delays.
A predecessor tunnel project, with full funding in place, had started construction when it was canceled by then-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in 2010, who said the state couldn’t afford it. Gateway was proposed a year later but stalled under the Trump administration.
“We are going to put whatever sort of negative juju there had been about this project over the past ten years aside, and just concentrate on getting it done,” Glen said.
Last month the Gateway tunnel received a $6.9 billion federal grant commitment from the Federal Transit Administration, a key piece of funding needed for further construction. That will allow more work to begin in 2024, according to the commission, but the completed tunnel won’t be in service until 2035.
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