Gateway Program

Arup-Led Consortium Awarded PSNY Contract

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.

The Gateway Program will eventually double rail capacity between Newark, N.J., and New York. (GDC)

Kolluri Nominated to Lead Gateway Development Commission

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.

For Hudson Tunnel Project, Updated Financial Plan

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.

Gateway Hudson Tunnels Achieve Milestone

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).

Portal North FFGA Drawing to a Close

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.

New Jersey: London Bridge is Falling Down (Updated)

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.

Part 11: Circumstances Are Changing

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.

Part 8: The Existing Tunnels May Fail First

When we last reported to you about the Gateway Program on Aug. 13, 2019, its proponents were making a best effort to alarm the public about the condition of the existing tunnels between New Jersey and Penn Station New York (officially known as the North River Tunnels), in the hope of stirring up public and political support for spending billions of dollars to build a new set of tunnels before starting repairs on the existing ones. At they same time, they were disparaging an alternative repair method now being implemented on the Canarsie Tunnels under 14th Street in Manhattan and under the East River to Brooklyn on the L-Train line of the New York City subway system, a method that averted a 15-month shutdown of the busiest part of the line.