Trains.com
You have 7 views remaining.

Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Hudson Tunnel project receives low federal rating, blocking funding eligibility NEWSWIRE

Hudson Tunnel project receives low federal rating, blocking funding eligibility NEWSWIRE

By | March 18, 2019

Get a weekly roundup of the industry news you need.

Email Newsletter

Get the newest photos, videos, stories and more.

Trains_Washington_Watch
Trains_Washington_Watch
WASHINGTON — The proposal to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River has once again received a low rating from federal regulators that makes it ineligible for a key source of U.S. government funding, the Associated Press reports.

The Federal Transit Administration has rated the new tunnel between New York and New Jersey “medium low” in its rankings for infrastructure projects, which makes it ineligible for Capital Investment Grants, in contrast to local officials who view the project as a matter of urgent need. Those involved in the tunnel project, including Amtrak, NJ Transit, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, have been seeking those grants for the $13 billion project.

The rating — which repeats a ranking issued a year ago — sparked an angry response from Democrats in the region, who have said the Trump administration is holding up financing for political reasons. New Jersey Sen. called the rating “ludicrous,” while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the decision “is putting the region and the entire national economy in jeopardy. Only a dysfunctional Washington could reject $6 billion in state funding to rebuild federally owned tunnels, which are in dire condition.”

The federal Department of Transportation has said states need to provide more financing for the project, and that the rating reflects that the current financial plan “did not address the key concerns identified by FTA” in its previous ranking.

The project would build a new tunnel to supplement the existing century-old, two-tube tunnel on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor route, allowing the current tunnels to be refurbished. The existing tunnels were damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and are at risk of failing within a decade, Amtrak has said.

Two congressmen said last week that they would sponsor legislation requiring the federal government to create a “doomsday” plan for how the government would address a tunnel failure if it occurs. [See “Legislation would require ‘doomsday’ plan for Hudson tunnel failure,” Trains News Wire, March 12, 2019.]
New Jersey’s Portal Bridge, another piece of the overall Northeast Corridor plan known as the Gateway Project, also received a “medium low” rating and is similarly ineligible for grant funding.

23 thoughts on “Hudson Tunnel project receives low federal rating, blocking funding eligibility NEWSWIRE

  1. Mister Guenther:

    From your comment I would wager that if you have no children you would not be in favour of paying taxes to support public education. You would not be deriving any utility from it, so why should you pay for it?

    The same argument (and its rebuttal) can be applied to these pieces of infrastructure. The NEC is important to the nation as a whole and if it is taken out of action there will be an impact on the national economy disparate to the cost of fixing the problem.

    One supports public education because it benefits us all to have an educated population. One should support key infrastructure projects because it benefits us all to have these corridors functional.

    And no, I don’t like paying taxes either. But I recognize the necessity.

    The above comments are general in nature and do not form the basis for an attorney/client relationship. They do not constitute legal advice. I am not your attorney. Find your own damn lawyer.

  2. New Jersey and New York are finding out that if you’re going to give the President a hard time on policy matters you’re not going to get funds for local and regional projects. This means, basically you can do the work, if you’re willing to pay for it yourselves. Why should President Trump give two of his harshest critics anything? The voters can do the right thing, but they are voting for democrat candidates, as they are looking for handouts.

  3. Peter, interesting post. As a Republican I can put up with Democrat politicians who respectfully disagree with the Republican president on various policy issues (as I do myself). The problem is, New York and New Jersey Democrat politicians don’t respectfully disagree. These people are beneath contempt. As long as New York and New Jersey elect this collective socialist snakepit, they aren’t going to get anything from the Feds. This is a rail forum so I won’t name names – suffice it to say, I’ve not seen a worse bunch since Khrushchev weeded out Stalin’s cronies. BTW Virginia is getting almost as bad.

  4. So, we screw the people because the politicians can’t get along. What a great country. Instead of being identified as one people we are now identified as by our political leanings. Hopefully one day we will return to doing ones duty for the people and not the party.

  5. Something that everyone is ignoring is this fact…if those tunnels collapse so does our economy and the Great Depression will look like a Carnival compared to what happens with the NEC shutdown, and if you don’t believe me, just look up the percentage of our annual GDP that comes from that region.

  6. GERALD – I’m not ignoring the fact that the tunnels are needed and that work should have started years ago. What I’m saying is that New York and New Jersey Democrat politicians are scum-bags or worse. They have no one to blame but themselves when the tunnels collapse without a replacement.

  7. So. A pissing contest. It would be funny in a way, except that you and I will get the bill.

    The above comments are general in nature and do not form the basis for an attorney/client relationship. They do not constitute legal advice. I am not your attorney. Find your own damn lawyer.

  8. Whatever happened to doing what is right and necessary for the well being of the country and the American people,irregardless of politics. It seems that our leaders have the mentality and temperament of first graders without any of the compassion that first graders possess.

  9. Mister Williams:

    Perhaps you should reread Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”. As for me, I, like Ausonius, write [poetry] and wait for the end…

    The above comments are general in nature and do not form the basis for an attorney/client relationship. They do not constitute legal advice. I am not your attorney. Find your own damn lawyer.

  10. Once again, ad nauseum, the “6 billion in state funding” our beloved Governor is wailing about isn’t real state money. It’s a loan from the Feds. That’s the “key concern(s) identified by FTA.”

  11. Low rating for this project? What are low – lower than low – are the congressional delegations and the local and state leadership in New York and New Jersey. For pieces of filth like the whining politicians to call this decision “political” may well be true but it’s also the pot calling the kettle dirty.

  12. I don’t get it. These two pieces of infrastructure have been identified as at risk and the impact if either of them fail will be enormous. What is the problem in funding upgrades/refurbishments/replacements?

    The above comments are general in nature and do not form the basis for an attorney/client relationship. They do not constitute legal advice. I am not your attorney. Find your own damn lawyer.

  13. If any political party is to blame, it’s the GOP. Chris Christie cancelled it the first time, and now Trump is doing his own bridge-gate on it. New Jersey and NYS should not be required to vote Republican to get a tunnel critical to the nation’s biggest city built.

  14. Just want to say that this series of posts by the usual suspects saying the usual things, (including me), has been entertaining to scroll through, as usual.

  15. The question is whether the tunnels need to be build, not whether New Jersey or New York politicians deserve them –or whether they are “scumbags” or whatever.

    Responsible politician do what ought to be done, not reward or punish political friends and foes.–that’s called corruption. Lot of that around the last couple of years!

  16. Corruption in the Federal Government has been around for a lot longer than the last several years. NJ and NY are also known for it.

  17. To the FEDS & politicians of the North: Your assignment, should you accept……Keep the American people safe by building “Southern Border Walls” where needed, tripling the Standard deduction to offset the Federal Reserves toying with the interest rates, and building a New tunnel for those in New York/New Jersey, so they would be in a better mood to vote for someone other then corruptive Chuck Schumer.

  18. Most of the comments seem to think that the tunnels are so necessary that it will be catastrophic if we have to stop using them. I disagree and I’ve lived my whole life in the area.

    – Only a small fraction of the rail commuters to NYC use these tunnels. Only people that use Jersey Transit. The other commuter rail agencies – the NYC Subway, Metro North, Long Island RR, and PATH carry something like 9/10ths of the rail commuters.

    – The entire Jersey Transit commuter population could switch to PATH with a change of trains. Not as convenient for some, but it can be done. PATH has four tunnels under the Hudson.

    – I don’t know how many people commute by bus – but there are three bridges over and two tunnels under the Hudson in the commuting area – so that’s another way in.

    – and there are still ferries – I guess some people like ferries cause a lot of people take them

    So stop talking like the entire financial structure of the US will fail or it will cause a depression worse than the great depression – because within a few days most people will find other means to get to work and all these concerns will be like yesterday’s stale bread.

  19. Surely those of you who write that new Hudson River tunnels will only benefit NY and NJ know better. Like it or not NYC is the financial capital of the world and loss of rail connectivity will damage the entire US economy. Further this is not just a bi-state issue, it involves the entire north east of the US. Does commuter service count for nothing? Should car floats be revived for freight? Patriotism consists,in part, of thinking in behalf of all of us and not pursuing particular political agendas, I hope we can all agree on that point at least.

You must login to submit a comment