Public hearings held to offer update on Gateway Tunnel Project

Posted: Updated:

The Federal Railroad Association and New Jersey Transit held a series of public meetings Thursday to provide updates on the Gateway Tunnel Project.

The tunnel, which will connect New Jersey to Manhattan, is still in the early stages, with a groundbreaking not set until 2019.

Thursday’s meetings come as environmental impact studies for the tunnel are being completed.

Officials say that the tunnel could take seven years to complete once construction begins. Work will then begin on repairing the current Hudson River rail tunnel, which carries about 450 trains per day.

Rail officials say that there is urgency to get both projects complete because the current tunnel is 106 years old and was damaged during Superstorm Sandy.

Lawmakers have said that if the current tunnel were to be put out of commission before a new one is in place it would paralyze travel between the two states.

Several environmental groups attended Thursday’s meeting. They say that the new tunnel will allow more people to travel to and from New York by rail, decreasing the amount of cars on the road.

“The Gateway Project is the most important infrastructure project in the country,” says Somerset County Freeholder Peter Palmer. “This is the first step. Let’s get on with it.”

The new tunnel will cost about $10 billion to construct and another $2 billion to repair the current tunnel.

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