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NY and New Jersey commit $3.65bn to fund Gateway tunnel

NY and New Jersey commit $3.65bn to fund Gateway tunnel

Under the current funding structure, New York State will put up $1.75 billion in its forthcoming executive budget and NJ Transit will pay $1.9 billion. The North River Tunnel, which opened in 1910 and is the only intercity passenger-rail crossing into New York City from New Jersey, was severally damaged by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

Chris Christie announced in a joint statement on December 14 that they had secured commitments to fund their share of the tunnel under a 2015 framework agreement in which the federal government will fund the other half.

"Now the federal government must fulfill its commitment to fund the other half and make this urgent, long-overdue project a reality", Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Further compounding the issue is the lack of redundant capability across the Hudson River into Penn Station New York, resulting in a single point-of-failure.

"The Gateway Tunnel is critical to the long term vitality of the entire Northeast region and one of the most important infrastructure projects in the country", Cuomo said.

Even though New Jersey would only pay a share of the cost, Christie objected to the "cost that was being asked to be borne by the taxpayers of the state of New Jersey".

NY and New Jersey would pay half the cost.

"The Hudson Tunnel Project is critical to the regional and national economy and protects against a potentially disastrous scenario of a closure of one of the two tubes of the existing North River Tunnel", Christie said in a statement. President Trump's administration has yet to formally commit to the deal.

NY plans to allocate money annually over 35 years to service a $1.75 billion loan, state budget director Robert Mujica Jr. wrote in a letter to the Department of Transportation on Wednesday.

NJ Transit, the nation's third-largest provider of bus, rail and light rail, carries roughly 100,000 rail commuters per day from New Jersey to NY either directly or via connections to other carriers.

New Jersey will raise its share from commuters by charging them an extra 90 cents for every trip into NY starting in 2020.

A spokesman for the department's Federal Transit Administration didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The tunnel is an essential part of the Northeast Corridor that connects NY and New Jersey and is the nation's most critical major infrastructure project, according to a joint press release issued by the governors' offices.

Were that to happen, the number of rush-hour trains would plummet from 24 per hour to six if one of the tunnel's two tubes had to be closed for repairs.

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