New Jersey governor pushes for Hudson tunnel funding

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NEW YORK — Calling the project “a matter of national security and economic stability,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy pushed Friday for funding for the Gateway Project, which includes a new tunnel between New Jersey and New York as part of a series of infrastructure upgrades to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line.

Murphy, in testimony at a field roundtable of the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure committee, said 20 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product depends on the current, 109-year-old tunnel under the Hudson, which sustained significant damage during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. More than 200,000 Amtrak and NJ Transit passengers pass through the tunnel each weekday.

“Either the federal government is going to finally come to the table with New Jersey and our partners in New York, and at Amtrak and the Port Authority [of New York and New Jersey], to get this done proactively, or there is going to be a catastrophic failure in one of these tunnels that is going to force us to build,” Murphy said, according to NJbiz.com.

Murphy told the roundtable that he has tried several times to discuss the project with U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, but there has been no response.

“I know her number,” Murphy said, according to northjersey.com. “The fact we’ve met is not our fault.”

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) called Gateway “the most urgent infrastructure project in the nation” during the roundtable.

Earlier on Friday, before touring the Hudson tunnels and other parts of the Northeast Corridor, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), the chairman of the committee, said the house might waive certain environment requirements to allow the tunnel project to advance. [See “House committee chairman vows to get new Hudson tunnel built,” Trains News Wire, May 3, 2019.]

 

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