Hudson Tunnel Project to get $6.88B; largest transit grant ever awarded

The Hudson Tunnel Project has entered the Engineering Phase of the Federal Transit
Administration’s Capital Investment Grants Program, thanks to a $6.88 billion CIG Program grant, according to a Thursday announcement from the Gateway Development Commission.

The announcement clears the way for the project to receive the federal funding needed for full construction.

“The entrance of the Hudson Tunnel Project into the Engineering Phase marks the most significant milestone to date for Gateway, which has advanced further than any predecessor project,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “Just as importantly, this pivotal benchmark is a testament to the synergies we have forged with our regional neighbors and federal partners. Indeed, early construction work will begin this year, thanks in no small part to robust federal funding and the commitment of the (President Joe) Biden administration to modern, world-class infrastructure. We look forward to working with our federal partners to secure the remaining funding necessary to complete the most urgent infrastructure project in the country.”

The next phase of the CIG Program process is negotiating and reaching a Full Funding Grant Agreement between the FTA and GDC, as the project’s sponsor, which is expected in 2024.

Once the project begins, it is expected to create more than 72,000 American jobs in the region.

“The Hudson Tunnel Project will allow for increased reliability, redundancy and, most important, a better passenger experience on the busiest stretch of the Northeast Corridor. Entry into Engineering is a major milestone accomplishment for the partnership between New York, New Jersey, Amtrak and the federal government. Now, it’s time to go build,” Anthony Coscia, Amtrak commissioner and GDC vice chair said.

Kris Kolluri, the commission’s CEO, said: “We are very grateful to the Biden administration, Govs. (Kathy) Hochul (of New York) and Murphy, (Senate) Majority Leader (Chuck) Schumer (D-N.Y.), our entire congressional delegation and the GDC board for their unwavering commitment to keep the Hudson Tunnel Project moving forward. Combined with early work beginning in New York and New Jersey, the FTA’s commitment of the vast majority of federal funding for the project is an enormous step in ensuring we move quickly to create a 21st-century rail experience for hundreds of thousands of passengers.”

The Hudson River Tunnel project is part of the Gateway Program, a series of strategic infrastructure investments designed to improve rail service in New York and New Jersey.

The project will build a new two-track rail tunnel from the Bergen Palisades in New Jersey to Manhattan, directly serving New York Penn Station and rehabilitating the existing North River Tunnel. Additionally, as part of the construction, nearly 5,000 new affordable housing units will be created in the adjacent Hudson Yards.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced $25 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation Project, which is part of the larger Gateway Project.

In January, Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.) joined Biden and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to announce the award of $292 million for the Gateway Project to create a concrete casing near Hudson Yards in Manhattan intended to preserve future right-of-way for the new Hudson River Tunnel and lay the groundwork for the much-anticipated Hudson River Tunnel project.