The Gateway Project, a plan to build a high-speed railway corridor under the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York, is back on.
A day after Amtrak president Steven Gardner testified before the New Jersey Senate Legislative Oversight Committee about the railway’s outdated equipment and much-needed repairs, Senator Chuck Schumer proposed an updated tunnel as a solution.
The Gateway Project was originally proposed in 2011 at a cost of $14 billion, after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie thwarted a similar plan called Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) in 2010 over cost concerns.
Amtrak’s only problem with the Gateway Plan was how to finance it.
But on Monday, Schumer told an audience at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management that the project should be partially funded by creating a development group called Gateway Development Corporation.
“The scale of the project is so large that we need to leverage the resources of all transportation and state agencies we have to achieve progress,” Schumer said. “I’m going to try to get the federal government to pay for as much of this as possible.
“We are fast approaching a regional transportation Armageddon: the busiest rail line in the country stranded without a way in New York.”
Though the original tunnel plan was priced at $14 billion, Schumer said that two new tunnels should be build and, with repairs to exisiting tunnels, the price could top $25 billion — a number that will continue to grow the longer the project takes to complete.
A planned right-of-way would run parallel to the current one between Newark Penn Station and New York Penn Station in Midtown.
The project would construct new rail bridges in the New Jersey Meadowlands, create new tunnels under the Hudson Palisades and the Hudson River, convert parts of the James Farley Post Office into a rail station, and add a terminal annex to NY Penn Station.