TRENTON - New Jersey's two U.S. senators held a press conference with Amtrak officials today at Hilton Newark Penn Station to talk about a proposal to build two new rail tunnels from New Jersey to New York City called the "Gateway Project."
Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, both Democrats, said today that the tunnel would amount to a new Trans-Hudson rail tunnel, the project that Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) canceled in October because of the expense.
Amtrak is proposing to spend $50 million to begin preliminary engineering and design on the two new rail tunnels.
The project would boost needed rail passenger services between New York City and New Jersey. It would allow for 13 additional NJ Transit trains per hour and eight additional Amtrak trains. The plan also calls for replacement and expansion of the 100-year-old Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River between Kearny and Secaucus
The governor is not supporting the project yet. Proponents of the project would have to find federal and local funding for it. Amtrak projects that the entire "Gateway Project" could be completed in 2020 at an estimated cost of $13.5 billion.
Christie killed the plans to build a second commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River, a project that would have been the United States' biggest public works project if it had gone forward. The cost was an estimated $9 billion - $14 billion.