The Gateway Development Commission (GDC) on May 5 reported “significant progress and early work beginning in 2023” on the Hudson Tunnel Project, the largest component of the Gateway Program. The GDC Board
Construction on the Hudson River rail tunnels, part of the Gateway Program in New York and New Jersey, will advance with a $292 million Mega grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Also, MTA Long Island Rail Road’s Grand Central Madison will not open by the end of the year, as planned; and California’s Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) will receive $1.8 million in Community Project Funding under the FY 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Dec. 23.
Amtrak, in partnership with NJ Transit and in coordination with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has entered into a $73 million, two-year contract with a team led by global engineering, consulting and design firm Arup to begin designing options for Gateway Program extensions and additions to the existing tracks, platforms and concourses in Penn Station New York. These facilities will be the first new ones since the original Pennsylvania Railroad New York Improvements Program in the early 20th century.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on May 6 nominated Kris Kolluri to serve as CEO of the Gateway Development Commission, a partnership between the two states and Amtrak that is working with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and New Jersey Transit (NJT) to coordinate delivery of the Gateway Program, which will eventually double rail capacity between Newark, N.J., and New York.
A new financial plan has been submitted to the Federal Transit Administration to support the Hudson Tunnel Project’s inclusion in the CIG (Capital Investments Grant) Program; the project is one segment of the Gateway Program on the Northeast Corridor.
A critical federal component of the politically controversial Hudson Tunnel Project segment of the Gateway Program on the Northeast Corridor—stalled by the Trump Administration but rapidly rescued and advanced by the Biden Administration—has received a Final Environment Impact Statement (Final EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
New Jersey Transit has received a $766.5 million grant agreement from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the $1.888 billion two-track, fixed-span Portal North Bridge Project in Hudson County.
New Jersey Transit has approved entering into a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the new, $1.8 billion fixed-span Portal North Bridge on the Northeast Corridor, crossing the Hackensack River in the New Jersey Meadowlands. Portal North, part of the massive Gateway Program, will replace 110-year-old Portal Bridge, a mechanical-trouble-plagued swing bridge built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1910 as part of its New York Improvements project.
Several “project stakeholders” in New Jersey’s passenger rail network—Governor Phil Murphy, U.S. Senators Menendez and Booker (both Democrats), NJ Transit and Amtrak—have expressed “strong reservations” about the feasibility of proposals in an independent report prepared by London Bridge Associates Ltd. (LBA) and released Nov. 23 by the Gateway Program Development Corporation (GDC) on the Hudson Tunnel Project portion of the Gateway Program. Basically, they are saying that one new tunnel must be constructed and placed in service prior to shutdown and rehab of one of the two existing, 110-year-old tunnels.Interestingly, two of the stakeholders are GDC officials.
While the COVID-19 virus was occupying most of our attention, an event so unforeseeable and strange occurred that anything remotely resembling it had previously been considered unthinkable. For a brief time in April, oil literally became equivalent to trash. It brought a negative price on the market, which meant that its owners had to pay to get rid of it, as the cost to store it kept rising. That phenomenon was a momentary hiccup of our virus-based economy, but it says something about supply, demand and the cost of infrastructure. This does have something to do with the Gateway Program, and it is time for the members of the Board of the Gateway Development Corp. (GDC) to start noticing some recent changes. As of the May 28 meeting, they had not.