Stimulus Could Kick-Start Hudson Tunnels Plan

Call it good timing.

While the bulk of federal stimulus money for transportation and infrastructure will likely go toward repair and renovation projects, one gigantic new construction project will also reap the rewards: New Jersey Transit’s $8.7 billion planned set of new rail tunnels under the Hudson River called Access to the Region's Core (ARC).

The tunnels, which would create a new underground station just north of Penn Station, have been planned for decades and only in recent years has the funding begun to trickle in. As of this fall, the project was finishing environmental review and had local funding, but it was in need of $3 billion of federal money. While it had high reviews from the federal government, a key pot of federal money had run dry with little hope of it being replenished in at least the next year.

But, according to a joint release just put out by New Jersey Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, along with U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, the stimulus is expected to trigger an additional $1.5 billion in available federal funding, enough to get the project started, assuming it, indeed, is awarded the money.  read more »

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