Transit

$16 billion Gateway Tunnel Project gets federal funding boost after years of delays

The $16.1 billion project includes a new rail tunnel linking New York and New Jersey — and is set to be open by 2035

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Lawmakers and transit officials are pledging 95,000 construction jobs, $20 billion in economic impact, and promising: no turning back.

“This time it’s real,” exclaimed Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday.

For more than a decade, he has been a major backer of the $16.1 billion Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project, which includes a new rail tunnel linking New York and New Jersey — set to be open by 2035.

After 12 years of lobbying and delays, work on the Gateway project is finally underway. News 4's Andrew Siff reports.

“It won’t be overnight,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, whose predecessor, Chris Christie, ended the region’s previous attempt to build a new tunnel after raising questions about the price tag back in 2010. "But when it finally hits, it’ll transform millions of lives."

Fourteen years later, construction on both sides of the river is underway. There was heavy equipment on West 30th Street stabilizing the ground Monday for even bigger machines to be brought in to dig the new tunnel.

The Tunnel Boring Machine — which will dig the bulk of the underwater tunnel — expected to begin spinning at the end of 2024 or early 2025. The machine will launch on the New Jersey side and will go through 2027. Another tube, which will start in Weehawken, would overlap somewhat and will be dug from 2026-2028.

“This is on the scale of the Erie Canal,” said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who agreed along with Murphy to fund about 30% of the project. The approved federal share (70%) is larger than originally promised, with Amtrak also contributing to that $12 billion share. New York, New Jersey and Port Authority are contributing the remaining $4 billion.

Senator Chuck Schumer announced that the Gateway Tunnel project is set to receive $6.8 billion dollars in federal funding. News 4's Adam Kuperstein reports.

Schumer held up a bag of cherries on Monday to connote the “cherry on top” for the governors now that the local taxpayer burden isn’t as steep as once feared.

"This is full funding and that means it’s guaranteed to go forward," said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton.

The project for the new tunnel comes after the 110-year-old ones currently in use were damaged in Superstorm Sandy

Supporters of Gateway say when it opens, there will be critical rail resiliency and redundancy to prevent commuting nightmares like the stalled trips plaguing NJ Transit and Amtrak passengers this summer.

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