NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Gateway Project has been called the nation’s most critical infrastructure project, but it’s not getting done.
There’s been an ongoing battle to get federal funding for the project.
Today, a group rallied at Penn Station, calling on the Trump administration to finally move things forward.
The multi-billion dollar project would modernize failing infrastructure that’s more than 100 years old and was badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy. It includes replacing the Portal Bridge and constructing a new tunnel under the Hudson River.
Once complete, it would double rail capacity between New York and New Jersey.
Web Extra: Build Gateway Now Coalition Holds Rally At Penn Station
The coalition behind today’s rally said it’s been 18 months since the Federal Railroad Administration missed the deadline to approve the Hudson Tunnel environmental impact statement.
“The president has said time and again that he wanted to streamline the environmental review process to keep major infrastructure projects moving forward, yet they have callously used it over the past year and a half to effectively strangle the Hudson Tunnel project,” said campaign manager Brian Fritsch.
“It would be nice to have a federal partner, and the federal government normally is a partner in infrastructure, and this president came into office promising a trillion dollar infrastructure program,” he said. “So I’ve been saying to the president: Gateway tunnels are essential.”
A major concern for local leaders is that one of the tubes will fail. New data released in July showed New Jersey Transit and Amtrak lost 2,000 hours because of failures at the North River Tunnel and Portal Bridge.
Organizers of today’s rally hope it will help get the support needed to get the project going.