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New York City officials support federal funds for freight-rail tunnel study

Two local officials recently endorsed more federal funds for New York City's Cross Harbor Freight Movement project, part of which proposes construction of a tunnel under New York Harbor connecting the Port of New York/New Jersey with the nation's freight-rail network.

Deputy New York Mayor Daniel Doctoroff and Empire State Development Corp. Chairman Charles Gargano sent letters to Reps. Bill Young (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the appropriation committee's transportation subcommittee, backing funds in Fiscal Year 2003 for the tunnel's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

"With rail-freight traffic expected to increase 79 percent over the next 20 years in the Northeast, and many segments of our roadways already at capacity, we must begin to consider other options," wrote Gargano, according to a prepared statement.

Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) petitioned Congress to include funds for the EIS in the federal FY03 budget.

"The tunnel would be one of the few transportation projects in recent memory that would quickly pay for itself," said Nadler. "In this day and age, that's nearly unheard of."

In June 2001, New York City Economic Development Corp. began the project's EIS. The two-year, $20-million study is being financed by a combination of federal and local funds, and administered by Federal Highway Administration and Federal Railroad Administration.

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More News from 10/23/2002