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Governors push for federal share of gateway project

Governors push for federal share of gateway project

Governors push for federal share of gateway project

As CBS2's Dick Brennan reported, somebody has to pay for the almost $13-billion in construction costs for the new Hudson River rail tunnels, and it looks like NJ TRANSIT riders may have to foot part of the bill.

The federal government was to pay for the other half under an agreement negotiated under former President Barack Obama, but President Donald Trump hasn't made the same commitment. NY will contribute $1.75 billion, Port Authority is committed for $2.7 billion, and the federal government would pay roughly $17 to $18 billion.

The Hudson Tunnel project calls for construction of a new tunnel under the Hudson River and rehabbing the existing North River Tunnel (shown).

Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie on Thursday committed to pay for about half of a vital new train tunnel under the Hudson River, putting pressure on the Trump administration to fund the rest. "Together, with the rehabilitation of the existing tunnel, this project will result in the crucial Northeast Corridor having four tracks between New Jersey and NY under the Hudson River, allowing for increased ridership in the future".

Christie, citing potential cost overruns, previously canceled a $8.7 billion tunnel project in 2010.

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NJ Transit customers will be expected foot the cost of New Jersey's share of the project cost through user charges on trains using the new the tunnels in and out of Manhattan.

"The Gateway Tunnel is critical to the long term vitality of the entire Northeast region and one of the most important infrastructure projects in the country", Cuomo said.

"New York State is stepping up to fund its share of the financial commitment as we rebuild our infrastructure all across the state", Cuomo said. "Now the federal government must fulfill its commitment to fund the other half and make this urgent, long-overdue project a reality". "Specifically, NJ Transit intends to generate the revenue to support $1.9 billion in project design and capital construction costs through a per-passenger trip charge for all NJT rail passenger trips each way across the Hudson River".

"It's time for the president to commit to fully fund the vital Gateway tunnel project because it is so important to our regional and national economy", said Schumer, from NY.

In letters sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the two governors say that they plan on underwriting a portion of the project's cost by relying on a loan from the DOT's Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program, reports Crain's. The tubes would allow for repairs to the existing tunnels, which Hurricane Sandy damaged.

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