Written by Sandy Smith
New York, New Jersey Form Joint Commission to Raise Funds for Gateway Project
Rail riders up and down the Northeast Corridor have been anxiously following news about the stalled Gateway project, a plan to replace aging bridges and build new Hudson River tunnels along Amtrak’s main line between Newark and New York. The new tunnels especially are urgently needed after Superstorm Sandy seriously damaged the existing tunnels leading into New York Penn Station, and many worry that one or both of those tunnels may fail before new ones open.
This makes the news that New York and New Jersey have decided to get serious about getting Gateway moving espeically welcome. As reported in Railway Track & Structures, the two states have agreed to form a bi-state Gateway Development Commission whose job will be to secure the funding needed to get construction underway.
The seven-member commission will consist of three members from each state and an Amtrak representative. The enabling legislation calls for New York and New Jersey to split the estimated $30 billion price tag for the project evenly between them. Each state’s governor can veto actions of the commission. The New Jersey House and New York legislature are still working out details of the bills establishing the commission, but the New Jersey Senate may already have voted on legislation by the time you read this.
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