Sens. Menendez & Booker Applaud Announcement by USDOT that Hudson River Tunnel Project is on track to Receive $6.88 Billion in Federal Transit Dollars

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.) today applauded the announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation that the Federal Transit Administration is advancing the Hudson River Tunnel project into engineering, putting it on track to receive $6.88 billion in federal funds – one of the largest federal awards ever for a mass transit project.

“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,” said Sen. Menendez. “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. This project will not only bolster the local and regional economies, but is also critical to ensuring that we have 21st century infrastructure to support national economic growth and competitiveness. I appreciate the work done by the project sponsors, the Biden Administration, Governors, and Congressional delegations of both states to get us to this point, and look forward to continuing to work with all of our state, federal, and local partners to sign a full funding grant agreement as quickly as possible.”

“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in the construction of the Hudson River Tunnel project,” said Sen. Booker. “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. 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, which is part of the larger Gateway project.

In January, Sens. Menendez and Booker joined President Joe Biden and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to announce the award of $292 million for the Gateway project to create a concrete casing near Hudson Yards in Manhattan intended to preserve future right-of-way for the new Hudson River tunnel and lay the groundwork for the much-anticipated Hudson River tunnel project.

Last August, Sens. Menendez and Booker joined Governor Phil Murphy and Secretary Buttigieg to celebrate the official physical groundbreaking of the new Portal North Bridge. Construction of the new Portal North Bridge will greatly reduce gridlock caused by critical operation and maintenance issues of the existing 110-year-old swing bridge and improve service, reliability, and capacity for rail travel along the Northeast Corridor.

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