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Rail News: Amtrak

Cuomo, Murphy sign legislation creating Gateway rail project commission

The 109-year-old Hudson River tubes were damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Photo – amtrak.com


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday jointly signed legislation establishing the Gateway Development Commission, a bi-state entity that will oversee the multibillion-dollar infrastructure project.

Known as Amtrak's Gateway program, the proposed project would replace the 109-year-old rail tunnels under the Hudson River that Amtrak and commuter trains use to operate between New Jersey and New York.

The Hudson River tubes were damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The project also calls for replacing the Portal North Bridge, which carries trains over the Hackensack River in New Jersey.

Additionally, the project includes construction of a new Penn Station South.

Last month, the states' legislatures passed identical legislation to establish the commission, which will establish equal financial responsibility, accountability and construction and repairs of the infrastructure.

The legislation requires the states to share equal in the local share of the project's cost.

The governors noted in a press release that the Trump administration has not agreed to contribute to the project's cost, which some estimates have indicated could be $30 billion.

They described the Hudson Tunnel project as the "single most important infrastructure project in our nation."

“The current Hudson River train tunnels are in dire condition, and it’s only a matter of time before one or both tubes fail," the governors said.

The project "has been delayed in the financial and environmental review process with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration," their press release stated.