Tuesday, August 04, 2009

New rail tunnel approved by New York City planners

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Work on the Manhattan side of NJ Transit’s $8.7 billion ARC (Access to the Region’s Core) Mass Transit Tunnel is almost clear to proceed now that the New York City Planning Commission has approved the massive project as part of its Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). The application now goes to the New York City Council for final review.

The ULURP is the project’s special permit application to advance the tunnel, which includes an expansion of New York Penn Station deep under 34th Street, and other project facilities. The project is expected to support 6,000 construction jobs annually.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and NJ Transit “voluntarily submitted the ARC Mass Transit Tunnel to the land use process as part of an effort to encourage community and public participation in the project,” the PA said. “The successful city planning commission vote was the result of a focused effort to work collectively with the Borough President, community boards, and other stakeholders on the project design.”

The Port Authority is partnering with NJ Transit on the ARC Mass Transit Tunnel project and has committed $3 billion toward the total cost. Earlier this month, they broke ground in New Jersey.

The project will effectively double trans-Hudson River rail capacity from 25 trains per hour to 48 by adding two new single-track tunnels, supplementing the existing two tracks that the Pennsylvania Railroad opened for service in 1910 and now are at capacity.