NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is making another push for the Gateway Project.

The governor is testifying before a Congressional delegation this morning at Port Authority headquarters.

Questions remain about whether the rail tunnel project will be included in a $2 trillion plan to rebuild the country’s aging infrastructure.

“Either the federal government will finally come to the table with New Jersey and New York and our partners Amtrak and the Port Authority to get this done proactively, or there is going to be a catastrophic failure in one of these failures is going to force us to build it,” Murphy said.

Web Extra: Watch Gov. Phil Murphy’s Full Testimony

READ: <a href=””Gov. Murphy’s Prepared Remarks (PDF)

Members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure took a tour of the century-old North River Rail Tunnel under the Hudson River last night.

MORE: N.Y., N.J. Lawmakers Scramble For Backup Plan After Trump 2020 Budget Cuts Money From Gateway Project Fund

The tunnel is more than 100 years old and was damaged during Superstorm Sandy.

“We need any and all help to move the Trump administration and the Department of Transportation off the dime. A letter of no prejudice, for instance, for the portal bridge would allow us to get going,” Murphy said.

Part of the Gateway Project would replace the deteriorating tunnel linking Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor between New York and New Jersey.

The project has been at the center of a funding dispute for years.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders agreed on a long-range plan to spend $2 trillion to rebuild the country’s infrastructure. There’s no indication yet whether that plan would include the rail tunnel.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has previously referred to the Gateway Project as “the single most urgent infrastructure project in the nation.”

Despite what Cuomo once called a “positive” meeting with the president, and Murphy saying there was some good will, the project is still not off the ground.

“You get to that ‘Where’s the beef?'” Murphy said. “The logic is so overwhelming, it’s so compelling, there must be something else out there going on. I am hopeful and I continue to be, as frustrated as I am, and as we are, I continue to be optimistic we will find a way.”

Amtrak and New Jersey Transit leaders are also expected to testify during Friday’s meeting.

The delegation will also tour Penn Station and the Second Avenue Subway.



Leave a Reply