Gateway Tunnel Project Gets Rolling


Gateway Hudson Tunnel Construction

Mara Farrell, Staff Writer

After a meeting between the president and government officials from both New York City and New Jersey, including Gov. Cuomo and Gov. Christie, construction for the long-awaited Gateway Tunnel Project could begin in Spring of 2018. The project includes repairing the existing tunnels that run between New York City and New Jersey, which were damaged during Hurricane Sandy, along with building two brand new tunnels under the Hudson River. This will increase the reliability and resilience of the tunnels, expand commuters services, decrease commuter traffic, and boost economic growth for both New Jersey and New York.

The Gateway Project, deemed “the most critical infrastructure project on the East Coast,” by Cuomo, has been in the works for many years, but moving at a slow pace. Last month, Donald Trump met with a predominantly Democratic group of politicians from New York and New Jersey to discuss the future of infrastructure and transportation in the two states. This was the second time Cuomo has visited the White House with the purpose of discussing this project, due to his worries that the Trump administration has not been honoring the Obama-era agreement to fund half of the $20 billion project. According to Representative Peter King, the only numbers that were discussed during the meeting were a possible 50/50 split of funding between the federal government and the two states. Although many attendees of the meeting deemed it a successincluding the White House, which released a statement calling it “productive” Cuomo stated that “while the White House meeting was productive, it was inconclusive.”

The two existing tunnels have been in disrepair since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. A recent study by Amtrak officials has shown that if progress isn’t made in the next seven years, there is a seventy-five percent chance that the old tunnels will have to be closed down completely. This would be a major disaster for the two states and those who commute between them. “No engineer wants to tell you how long they [the existing tunnels] will remain reliable,” said Cuomo, during an event for the Association for a Better New York. The project also includes linking the new tunnels to Penn Station and improving the station’s quality. If federal funding is forthcoming, the project could take until the year 2030 to be finished.

The meeting took place the day after the Trump Administration agreed to Senator Chuck Schumer’s proposed Hurricane Harvey relief package. These are two examples of the strides being made to improve the great rift in bipartisan relations. He [President Trump] must have mentioned bipartisanship six or seven times, and how important he thought yesterday’s deal was,” Peter King told The New York Times.