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Senate Committee OKs $20 Million For Gateway Tunnel Project

Gateway Tunnel Project (credit: Amtrak)

Gateway Tunnel Project (credit: Amtrak)

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Amtrak may get a chunk of money from the feds to build new rail tunnels under the Hudson River.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $20 million for Amtrak to continue preliminary design and engineering work on a new trans-Hudson tunnel project.

“The Gateway Tunnel is critical to addressing our state’s transportation crisis,” Sen. Frank Lautenberg said. “A new trans-Hudson tunnel would dramatically increase access to commuter trains for a growing population of transit riders, and help to break the gridlock on our congested roads.”

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

Veronica Vanterpool, of the watchdog group Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said the Gateway Tunnel project is the most promising option to boost rail capacity into New York by 65 percent.

The railroad’s existing 100-year-old tunnels already operate at capacity during rush hour and ridership is expected to double in the next two decades. The tunnels have also been plagued by signal and power problems that have caused massive delays and stranded NJ TRANSIT commuters.

Vanterpool said the additional money will just get the project started.

“This money is just to fund studies on the feasibility of this project and exploring it further,” Vanterpool said.

The project comes with a $14.5 billion price tag. So far, $15 million has been raised.

The Senate and House still have to vote on the appropriations for the plan which is expected to be complete by 2025.

What do you think of the plan? Do you think it will help your commute? Let us know below…