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Trump Administration Official Throws Cold Water on Gateway Tunnel Funding Agreement

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December 30,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, earlier this month Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced commitments to fund 100 percent of their respective share of the new Gateway tunnel. The agreement follows a 2015 framework agreement in which the federal government agreed to fund 50 percent of the project.

The agreement for a combined $5.5 billion states that the State of New York will contribute $1.75 billion with NJ Transit committing $1.9 billion and the Port Authority contributing $1.9 billion.

But the Trump administration through cold water on the idea on Friday . In a letter to New York and New Jersey officials, a top Federal Transit Administration Deputy Administrator Jane Williams signaled that the Trump administration would not recognize the agreement struck under former President Barack Obama that called for the federal government to pay half the cost of the project.

The letter stated that ,“There is no such agreement,” and “We consider it unhelpful to reference a nonexistent ‘agreement’ rather than directly address the responsibility for funding a local project where nine out of 10 passengers are local transit riders,”

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Hudson River Rail Tunnel Project Takes Another Step Forward

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State, congressional leaders announce plan to fund the project

By ANDREW TANGEL And

HEATHER HADDON

Nov. 11, 2015 9:00 p.m. ET

An emerging plan to dig two new Hudson River rail tunnels came into sharper focus on Wednesday as state and congressional leaders outlined a plan to fund and manage the project.

Under an agreement announced late Wednesday, the project would be managed by a subsidiary of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. That development corporation would be overseen by a four-member board including two representatives of the bistate agency and one each from Amtrak and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who announced the deal with two U.S. senators, jointly control the authority.

“Our shovels are ready,” Mr. Cuomo said in an interview. “Literally, if you don’t build this tunnel, you would greatly imperil train service.”

Anthony Coscia, Amtrak’s chairman, said the agreement among state and federal leaders marked an encouraging step for Amtrak’s broader Gateway project. “It’s going to be a real turning point,” he said.

The national passenger railroad has struggled to fund big projects, and has warned of a transportation crisis if it must shut down one of its aging two current tunnels between New York and New Jersey.

It remains unclear how the local, state and federal governments will fund the tunnel project in an era of tight budgets. The project is part of the Gateway plan, which early estimates suggest could cost $15 billion to $20 billion.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/hudson-river-rail-tunnel-project-takes-another-step-forward-1447293639