New York and New Jersey officials say both states and the transit agencies involved are now prepared to move forward on long-delayed plans to add a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River and repair the existing one. The Gateway Program would also convert the James A. Farley Post Office across from Penn Station in Manhattan to a new station for Amtrak trains and replace the 106-year-old Portal Bridge in the New Jersey Meadowlands.
The project, first proposed in 2011 and known as Access to the Region’s Core (ARC), was killed by Gov. Chris Christie in 2010. In 2012, Superstorm Sandy damaged the rail tunnel, making the work more vital than ever.
The section of the Northeast Corridor line between Secaucus and Manhattan, used by both Amtrak and New Jersey Transit, is the busiest in the country with capacity at its limit of 24 trains per hour. The project is designed to double that.
Officials are hopeful that President-elect Donald Trump, who promised on the campaign trail to improve the nation’s infrastructure, will support Gateway. Scott Rechler, former vice chair of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, said he believes Trump and his advisers understand “that to make America great again, they’ve got to make our infrastructure great again.”
US Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, said the project is the best investment the Trump administration could make in terms of growing the country’s economy.
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