Schumer Announces Gateway Tunnel Project To Move Immediately Into Action-Packed Engineering Phase & Construction Within Year
Senator Worked For Years To Piece Together The Fed Funds To Replace the More Than Century-Old Tunnels, Including Passing The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law; Vital Project Once Used As Political Pawn Is Now Back On Track
Schumer: It’s All Systems Go For Gateway
Overlooking the west side rail yard where portions of the Gateway Tunnel construction will take place, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced he has secured $6.88 billion in federal dollars for the nation’s largest public works project, which he has long championed. Schumer detailed the funds and gave an update on the Gateway Tunnel project. Schumer said that the funds will mark the largest federal transportation grant ever, and the largest single transportation grant ever to New York State.
“For a long time now, the Gateway project has been my passion. It's a labor of love. And after many false starts and obstacles placed in our way, Gateway is full speed ahead with $6.88 billion ready to go and be used for critical work and construction,” Said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Gateway’s future is assured and the most important public works project in America is all systems go.”
As Majority Leader, Schumer worked to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill which contained nearly $40 billion for Northeast Corridor rail and transit improvements; of that, $6.88 billion is being allocated from the FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program for Gateway, and the Gateway Development Commission is applying for an additional $3.8 billion from FRA’s Federal-State Partnership program, which hasn’t yet been awarded, to address any potential cost increases. The states of New York and New Jersey will pay a respective half share cost of the roughly $17 billion project.
Schumer said modernizing the failing 112-year old infrastructure that hundreds-of-thousands of riders depend on every weekday is make or break for New York and the nation’s economy. This construction will double the capacity of the Northeast Corridor train line between Newark and New York City — an investment that will improve rail mobility from Washington, D.C. to Boston and beyond.
Schumer detailed construction as he announced the project will move into its next phase. Schumer said the work will create 72,000 jobs and $19 billion in economic activity as it also boosts the national economy and shows that the federal government can tackle massive projects during a critical time for transportation and mass transit.
Schumer has said that the Gateway Tunnel Project is desperately needed, not only for the purpose of transporting millions more workers, tourists and shoppers into and out of New York City each day, but also because its two tunnels that currently carry rail traffic under the Hudson River and into Manhattan will soon become inoperable. Despite the importance of the Gateway Tunnel Project, the former administration made many efforts to derail the project, including slashing its funding and critical programs that would fund its construction. Today, Schumer announced that we are past those dark days and it is all systems go for Gateway.
“The potential failure of one or both of the only two rail tunnels running under the Hudson River is one of the most pressing issues facing New York City right now, and that is why I have worked so hard to move this project and this critical work ahead with all due speed,” Schumer added.
FTA’s CIG New Starts Program awards grants to new or extensions of existing rail and bus rapid transit projects that cost $400 million or more.
The Hudson Tunnels opened to service more than a century ago in 1910. In addition to their old age, which would alone merit extensive rehabilitation, the tunnels were flooded with corrosive seawater when Superstorm Sandy hit and the urgency to repair them grew many times over. The tunnels are at risk of closing and they are limiting the capacity of the Northeast Corridor, which is unable to add more trains until more tunnels are built. Therefore, the tunnels are not only at risk of failing, but there is also unrealized economic growth.
The Gateway Tunnel Project involves repairing the two existing Northeast Corridor (NEC) passenger rail tunnels under the Hudson, while building two new tunnels alongside them to ultimately increase trans-Hudson transit capacity. The project is the largest infrastructure project in the country and is key to the future development of the region.