WEEHAWKEN – Governor Phil Murphy today toured the North River Tunnel with state legislative leadership and members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation. The 108 year old North River Tunnel has been in disrepair and in dire need of replacement since extensive damage was caused by Hurricane Sandy.
“The rehabilitation of the existing North River Tunnel and construction of the new Hudson Tunnel is crucial to the tri-state area, and in particular New Jersey,” Governor Phil Murphy said. “It is time for the Trump administration to prioritize the needs of commuters and our nation’s economy, and commit to funding the Gateway Program.”
According to Amtrak, any major repairs will require at least one tunnel tube to be closed, which will have catastrophic effects on our regional and national economies if the Hudson Tunnel is not constructed by that time.
The Gateway Program will include the construction of a new Hudson Tunnel followed by repairs for the North River Tunnel that will both expand capacity for commuter and regional train service and alleviate pressure on the existing tunnel.
Governor Murphy, New Jersey legislative leadership, and our congressional delegation all agree that the federal government must fund the Gateway Program and allow for work to begin as soon as possible in order to minimize the impact on commuters and our economy.
The Congressional Delegation and State Legislative leadership offered their support for the project.
“While the Trump Administration has thrown up every imaginable roadblock—and even some no one could have dreamed—to slow Gateway down, we have kept this project alive in the face of overwhelming opposition at the highest level. Our delegation secured $541 million in last year’s transportation appropriations bill for Gateway over the veto threat of the President, and increased funding for the New Starts program after the Administration tried to eliminate it,” said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, ranking member of the Senate’s transit subcommittee. “I will continue doing everything in my power, working alongside Gov. Murphy, to advance Gateway. Replacing the Portal Bridge and Hudson River rail tunnels are national priorities. The safety of the riding public and the region’s economy are at stake. Failure to see this project of national significance completed is not an option.”
“Despite President Trump’s best efforts to derail it, Gateway remains one of the most critical infrastructure projects in the nation,” said U.S. Senator Cory Booker. “Each day we fail to invest in vital infrastructure projects like Gateway not only threatens our nation’s economy, but also jeopardizes the safety and well-being of our region’s rail passengers. We need a long-term solution to address our nation’s infrastructure crisis, and not the political games President Trump continues to play at the expense of the American people.”
“The President promised a significant investment in our nation’s infrastructure," said Rep. Frank Pallone. "It’s time he put his money where his mouth is and invests in the Gateway tunnel that will create thousands of jobs and improve the quality of life for commuters in New Jersey and throughout the region. I’m proud to stand with Governor Murphy and our delegation in keeping the pressure on the President and Congress to move this project forward.”
“We needed to begin construction on the Hudson Tunnel Project yesterday. The continued delays coming from the Trump Administration put us at risk,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. “We saw today what engineers at Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT have been saying for years. The tunnel was badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy. I am working with Congressman Albio Sires and the rest of the New Jersey delegation on a letter in support of Chairman Jerry Zaro’s request to approve the environmental impact study under the One Federal Decision. Completion of the Hudson Tunnel Project, and the Gateway Program as a whole, must not wait any longer. We cannot continue to sit on our hands.”
“The North River Tunnel is in dire need of repair and modernization, and it is the most urgent infrastructure project in the country,” said Rep. Albio Sires. “This Administration needs to work with Congress to help our state fund the Gateway project and strengthen transportation infrastructure that serves hundreds of thousands of people every day.”
“The Gateway Project is our nation’s most pressing infrastructure project,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. “It is imperative that the federal government step up to contribute to rebuilding the rail infrastructure connecting New York and New Jersey. The Gateway Project is a key connection for rail travel up and down the East Coast, not just two states. Through my work on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I will continue the fight to make Gateway a reality.”
“It’s estimated that if the Northeast Corridor had to shut down for just one day, it would cost $100 million. Now, imagine the devastation if the corridor shut down for months or years – and that could happen if Gateway doesn’t happen,” said Rep. Donald Norcross. “This transportation artery is the lifeblood of the Northeast – particularly in New Jersey – and it seriously influences our regional and national economy. We need to do everything we can to swiftly move the project forward.”
“These tunnels are critical to keeping the entire Northeast corridor running smoothly. Unfortunately, they are also a perfect example of our nation’s crumbling and outdated infrastructure,” said Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, a member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. “Investing in infrastructure is the smart move for job creation, for economic growth, and for the safety of the millions of Americans who rely on our tunnels, bridges and highways every day. The Gateway project isn’t a wish-list, it’s an essential piece of the region’s future and critical to the national economy. The federal government needs to do its part, and I will be pushing hard for that as an appropriator this year.”
“It has been a generation since Congress took on a comprehensive effort to reshape our nation’s transportation policies and Americans are suffering for it,” said Rep. Tom Malinowski. “For our district, there is no more urgent economic and quality of life imperative than to complete the Gateway Tunnel. That’s why my first legislative priority was introducing the Transportation Funding Fairness Act, to begin dismantling the roadblocks this Administration has placed in the way of critical infrastructure projects around the country."
"Our crumbing Hudson River tunnel is the most important and pressing infrastructure project in our nation and exemplifies the critical need to invest in infrastructure across our country," said Rep. Mikie Sherrill. "Every delay, every deferred decision on the Gateway Project that puts politics over the people of this region is a danger to New Jersey commuters and to our economy. I will be taking what we see today back with me to Congress to continue to fight for the Gateway Project."
“This project is critical for our states economy," said Rep. Jeff Van Drew. "I commend Governor Murphy for working to secure funding for such an essential project.”
“Investments in infrastructure are essential to growing our economy and supporting the residents of our communities,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. “New Jersey residents deserve safe and reliable transportation. It is critical that the federal government fund the Gateway project which will create jobs and bring our infrastructure into the 21st century.”