FAST Act supports Hudson River tunnel work

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NEW YORK — The new $300 billion transportation bill that has been approved by both houses of Congress could help cut delays for Manhattan commuters and travelers.
On Monday, near the future sight of a new Hudson River tunnel, officials announced that the bill will make funding the project a whole lot easier.

According to the New York Times, the transportation bill will allow Amtrak to take its profits and reinvest it into projects along the Northeast Corridor. Unlike before when the passenger agency had to support less profitable routes with the funds. This will now allow funding for improvements like track, catenary, and the new tunnel under the Hudson River to Pennsylvania Station.

“We worked hard to get it in,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said to The New York Times. “and now it means the new tunnel under the Hudson, from the federal side, has a green, green light.”

Schumer was joined by fellow politicians and Amtrak representatives at a press conference on the far west side of Manhattan. Joining him at the conference were Port Authority of New York and New Jersey representatives who announced last month, that they would start a development corporation that would oversee the estimated $20 billion tunnel project.

Currently Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains burrow through a century old tunnel that was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1910. Damages from Hurricane Sandy in 2012 still need to be addressed leaving many federal and state officials concerned about a shutdown.

In 2010 Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey canceled an earlier tunnel project due to cost overrun concerns.
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