Gateway tunnel funding approved

Lloyd Doyle
December 15, 2017

"In a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation, New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica said Gov. Cuomo will propose in the state's forthcoming executive budget an appropriation each year over a 35-year period to pay debt service on a $1.75 billion fixed-interest loan to the Gateway Development Corp. with a 35-year term under the US DOT's Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) program", the New Jersey Governor's Office said in a news release.

In 2010, Christie withdrew state funding from a proposal to build two new rail tunnels ending in station under 34th Street in Manhattan after cost projections ballooned from $9 billion to more than $14 billion.

The surcharge would jump to $1.70 in 2028, and to $2.20 in 2038.

NY plans a $1.75 billion federal loan, to be repaid with an annual appropriation from the state's executive budget.

"The Port Authority, at the direction of the two governors, committed $2.7 billion in its ten-year capital plan, adopted in early 2017, for Gateway".

Gov. -elect Phil Murphy said his transition was not apprised of the details of the negotiations between New Jersey and NY.

Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced commitments to fund 100 percent of their respective share of the new Gateway tunnel.

The states' contributions will total half of the project costs, while the federal government will pay the other half, as decided under a framework agreement in 2015, the statement said. A federal spending bill approved in September included only $900 million toward the project.

Two years later, the Amtrak North River Tunnel, the only passenger rail link between New Jersey and NY, was inundated with seawater from Superstorm Sandy. The project also funds rehabilitation of each of the old tunnels.

"I'd like to know if there were alternatives that did not involve further fare hikes and, if so, why they were not pursued?" "Once I am sworn in, we'll review the application and see if there is any way to provide additional relief for commuters and if there is, we will pursue it".

As CBS2's Dick Brennan reported, somebody has to pay for the almost $13-billion in construction costs for the new Hudson River rail tunnels, and it looks like NJ TRANSIT riders may have to foot part of the bill. Gordon asked in a statement.

NJ Transit has increased fares five times in recent years, including twice under Christie, a Republican who leaves office next month.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article