Washington, D.C. – November 4, 2023
State officials have announced that the Biden administration is set to allocate $3.8 billion in federal funding to support the construction of a crucial and long-awaited railway tunnel connecting New Jersey and New York City. The Hudson Tunnel Project, with an estimated cost of $17.2 billion, aims to repair the existing tunnel and create a new one, serving passenger rail services for Amtrak and state commuter lines between New Jersey and Manhattan.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer revealed that the federal government will be contributing more than $11 billion toward the total project cost. This initiative becomes vital when considering the significance of these rail lines in the largest U.S. metropolitan area, responsible for generating 10% of the country’s economic output. The existing tunnel was severely damaged during 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, making its repair and expansion a matter of utmost importance.
In July, the White House had already paved the way for the project by providing $6.88 billion in funding from the Federal Transit Administration. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Governor Kathy Hochul of New York, and Schumer, among other officials, celebrated the commencement of construction for the Hudson Tunnel Project in New York.
Buttigieg emphasized that this project would significantly reduce traveler delays, create employment opportunities for 72,000 individuals, and generate an estimated $19 billion in economic activity. He labeled it as “the largest project of its kind in modern American history.”
This venture had been under discussion in Washington for over a decade, primarily due to the damage sustained by the rail tunnel during Superstorm Sandy. The 112-year-old tunnel currently accommodates 200,000 passenger trips daily for New Jersey Transit and Amtrak along the Northeast Corridor.
The project’s historical background encompasses the choice made by former New Jersey Governor “Chris Christie” to revoke state funding for it in 2010. Subsequently, the federal government’s role in funding the tunnel replacement was a subject of debate between the administration of former President Donald Trump and Congressional Democrats.
The states of New Jersey and New York will collectively cover 30% of the project’s costs, with Amtrak contributing an additional $1 billion, as per Schumer. The broader Gateway Program focuses on the comprehensive renovation of the aging infrastructure within the Northeast Corridor rail line, connecting Newark, New Jersey, and New York City.