construction money

Feds Deliver $6.8B Full-funding Grant for Gateway Project

The Gateway Tunnel Project, the largest infrastructure endeavor in US history, will receive a $6.8 billion grant from the federal government in a full-funding agreement announced yesterday. The figure is part of the $12 billion in federal funding for the project (about 70% of the total $16 billion cost) and is the last piece of the financial puzzle that will allow for the hiring of engineers and construction companies to start digging under the Hudson River.

In a New York Times article, Kris Kolluri, chief executive of the Gateway Development Commission, said the work on the project could begin as soon as this year. “This is the moment that has eluded this region for almost 30 years. We are essentially at the point of no return,” he said.

The Gateway Program is a series of projects aimed at improving the most congested 10-mile section of the Northeast Corridor, which is the most heavily used passenger rail line in the US, with more than 2,000 trains per day carrying approximately 800,000 daily passenger trips across eight states and Washington, D.C.

The portion of the Northeast Corridor between Newark and New York Penn Station carries more than 200,000 daily Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT passenger trips on approximately 450 trains. It also only has two tracks, while a majority of the remainder of the Northeast Corridor has four.

The project will see the rehabilitation of these two 113-year-old rail tunnels under the Hudson River into Manhattan as well as the creation of two new additional tunnels, expanding capacity and alleviating congestion.

According to President Joe Biden, if these current lines shut down for just one day, it would cost the US economy $100 million.

Dave Rible, executive director of the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association (UTCA), said the full-funding announcement is “a great day for the state of New Jersey. Years in the making, the Gateway Tunnel project … will stave off impending doom given the current condition of the existing tunnels while making it easier for millions of people to travel along the East Coast. Just as importantly, it will provide thousands of good paying jobs for hard-working men and women in New Jersey.

Congresswoman Mike Sherrill commented that the announcement “means more good-paying, union jobs are coming to New Jersey. … From reducing traffic and air pollution, to lowering commute times, to ensuring our public transit is reliable so parents can make it home to coach their kids’ soccer teams, the Gateway Tunnel’s impact on New Jersey families will be immense.”

“It’s official: We are moving full steam ahead with the largest and most consequential infrastructure project in the nation,” Gov. Phil Murphy posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Within the next two weeks, the Federal Transit Administration and the Gateway Development Commission are expected to sign yesterday’s funding agreement. The entire Gateway project is expected to be completed by 2035.

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