Senate Committee Approves Additional Gateway Tunnel Project Funding

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD), and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee today approved $20 million for Amtrak to continue work on the Gateway Tunnel project as part of the FY 2013 THUD appropriations bill. The bill must now be approved by the full Senate.

“The Gateway Tunnel is critical to addressing our state’s transportation crisis, and I will continue working to secure federal funds to advance the project,” Lautenberg said. “A new trans-Hudson tunnel would dramatically increase access to commuter trains for a growing population of transit riders, and help to break the gridlock on our congested roads. I am proud to work with Amtrak on a new rail tunnel that will create jobs, provide sustainable transportation options, and improve high-speed rail in New Jersey and the Northeast Corridor.”

“We are at capacity on all Hudson River crossings, so the Gateway Project is simply essential to New Jersey’s economic growth and for our commuters. This funding is an important step in a long process to get this project under construction,” said Menendez.

In November 2011, Congress had approved an initial $15 million for Amtrak to begin design and engineering work on the Gateway Tunnel project. This additional $20 million would be used to continue working on the project.

The existing 100-year old rail tunnels into midtown Manhattan are already operating at capacity during rush hour, and ridership is expected to double in the next two decades. To address these concerns, Amtrak expedited plans to build the new trans-Hudson rail tunnels. In addition to increasing the number of NJ Transit and Amtrak trains into and out of New York, the project would also expand rail service on the Northeast Corridor.

When completed, the Gateway Project is expected to increase NJ Transit commuter rail capacity into New York by 65 percent (increase from 20 to 33 trains per hour during peak hours).


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