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Newly formed New York City coalition plans to promote rail-tunnel project


Nineteen leaders from New York City's business, labor, environmental, community and urban-planning sectors recently formed MoveNY: The Cross Harbor Tunnel Project, a lobbying coalition backing construction of a rail-freight tunnel under New York Harbor.

"MoveNY was initiated to promote the region's interests in Washington as Congress considers reauthorization of the major federal transportation-spending bill, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century," said Richard Ravitch, MoveNY co-chair and former New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman, in a prepared statement.

The coalition plans to seek project support on Capitol Hill, as well as from various mayors, governors and business groups across the country who currently are urging Congress to include funding for rail-infrastructure projects in transportation legislation.

Designed to reduce truck traffic, the tunnel would connect New Jersey rail lines to track east of the Hudson River in Brooklyn, and extend throughout New York's metropolitan area into Long Island, Connecticut's southern tier and upstate New York.

"The Cross Harbor rail-freight tunnel is the most vital element in expanding our region's capacity for goods movement and economic growth over the next several decades," said Denis Hughes, MoveNY co-chair and president of New York state's AFL-CIO.

In 1998, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) launched the Cross-Harbor Freight Movement Project to study alternative ways of moving freight across the Hudson River.

In 2001, EDC began developing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the tunnel project; a draft EIS is expected to be released in mid-summer.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/3/2003