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Gateway Development Commission receives largest grant in history for urgent Hudson Tunnel Project

Updated: Jul 8

Photo: Gateway Program News on X

Governor Phil Murphy, Governor Kathy Hochul of New York and other leaders signed the $6.88 billion Federal Full Funding Grant Agreedment (FFGA) today in New York City, officially kicking off the start of the Hudson Tunnel Project construction on both sides of the river. 

“The light at the end of the end of the Gateway Tunnel is signed, sealed and delivered,” said Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.

This is the largest grant in the history of the entire Department of Transportation, according to the FTA’s Acting Administrator Veronica Vanderpool. 

The Federal Government was originally providing a 50 percent share, but after efforts made by congressional leaders, that number was bumped up to 70 percent, what Schumer called the “cherry on top” for the governors. 

Photo: Screenshot via NJ Office of the Governor on Youtube

This project will replace the one-track in, one-track out tunnel that connects New York and New Jersey to the Northeast Corridor that was built in 1910, a single point of failure for the NEC. 

Although this region takes up only two percent of the landmass of the country, it is responsible for 20 percent of the nation’s economy, said Schumer. 

If the tunnel were to be shutdown it would cause a 75 percent reduction in train service, a $16 billion loss in the nation’s GDP, $22 billion loss in property values and would add an extra 30 minutes of travel to one of the most congested commutes in the country, according to the Gateway Development Commission.

The project will create around 95 thousand union jobs, bring in $20 billion in economic activity and secure the regional and national economy, according to Schumer. “These are hard dollars that will translate into hard hats,” he said. 

Kris Kolluri, CEO of the GDC, said the “unmatched leadership” of Murphy, Hochul, President Biden, Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Cory Booker, and the congressional delegates are the reason they were able to get to this milestone. 

Kolluri said that less than two years ago there was not a single part of the project under construction, but today the first piece of equipment was placed on the river to start the lengthy process. 

The project will add two new tunnels, covering 4.5 miles each, from Secaucus Junction in Secaucus, New Jersey to Penn Station in New York, and will give the century old tunnel a desperately needed makeover, according to Murphy.

When the project is built in its entirety, the number of trains operating will go from about 450 to 900 a day between NJ Transit and Amtrak. 

This modern, four-track system is something the world has never seen before, said Tony Coscia, Amtrak Commissioner and Vice Chair of the GDC. “We’re doubling train capacity in the most intensely operated train infrastructure in the world,” he said. 

Previous administrations on both sides of the river were not fond of the project. Both the Christie and Trump Administrations tried to kill the project years prior, but Schumer says that the rail tunnels are an “essential artery” that carries countless of individuals and goods across the entire Eastern Seaboard. 

Photo: Screenshot via NJ Office of the Governor on Youtube

When describing what it was like working with the previous administration compared to Biden-Harris, Murphy said it is like “night and day” and cannot thank the Biden Administration enough. 

This expansion will also generate expanded peak service, one-seat rides will become available and there will be the capacity to service directly to places like Long Island, Scranton, Pennsylvania, add frequencies between New York, Virginia and North Carolina and most importantly expand service in New York, according to Coscia. 

Murphy made it clear that this project will not happen overnight and asked for the public’s patience during the construction process.


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