HUDSON COUNTY – New Jersey Senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez announced Thursday that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $20 million for Amtrak to continue work on the Gateway Tunnel project as part of the FY 2013 THUD appropriations bill.
The bill must now be approved by the full Senate.
A major state-funded project, the $8.7 billion Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) tunnel was canceled by Gov. Christopher Christie in late 2010. Christie blamed cost overruns and the expense in general. The project has since been taken over by Amtrak and renamed "The Gateway Tunnel."
“The Gateway Tunnel is critical to addressing our state's transportation crisis, and I will continue working to secure federal funds to advance the project,” said Lautenberg. “A new trans-Hudson tunnel would dramatically increase access to commuter trains for a growing population of transit riders, and help to break the gridlock on our congested roads. I am proud to work with Amtrak on a new rail tunnel that will create jobs, provide sustainable transportation options, and improve high-speed rail in New Jersey and the Northeast Corridor.”
In November 2011, Congress approved an initial $15 million for Amtrak to begin design and engineering work on the Gateway Tunnel project. This additional $20 million would be used to continue working on the project, according to a release from Launteberg's office.
The Gateway Project is expected to increase NJ Transit commuter rail capacity into New York by 65 percent, the release says.