The 105 year-old Amtrak/NJ Transit tunnels that connect New York and New Jersey are showing serious signs of decay. The Arc Tunnel project, which was supposed to alleviate the problem, was cancelled by Gov. Christie back in 2010. Since then, the tunnels have deteriorated further, thanks in part to the salt water that came rushing in during Hurricane Sandy. Despite the dire situation, New York and New Jersey have done nothing but bicker over who should put up the cost to build a new tunnel. Fortunately for commuters, a recently-passed federal transportation bill will make it easier to start building a new tunnel.
Under the new bill, the federal government and Amtrak will finance half of the cost of the new tunnel, and New York and New Jersey will pay the other half. A new corporation within the Port Authority called the Gateway Development Corporation, will monitor the project and the billions of dollars associated with it. The corporation will be controlled by a four-member board with representatives from New York, New Jersey, Amtrak, and the federal Transportation Department. Work has already started on the project underneath New York’s Hudson Yards. (The New York Times has a very cool video tour of what’s already been accomplished).
However, as well all know the Port Authority has been plagued by numerous scandals. Hopefully this project won’t be another one. Either way, the Port Authority doesn’t expect the project to be completed till 2030, so passengers will have to sit tight for a few more years.
(Image: New York Times)