New Jersey lawmakers fight for Gateway Tunnel fundingPosted: Updated:
New Jersey lawmakers, including Gov. Phil Murphy, were in Manhattan Friday to fight for funding for the Gateway Tunnel Project.
Murphy told the House Transportation Committee about several phone calls he has had with President Donald Trump about the project. But Trump referred Murphy to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. Murphy says that this is where talks about funding stalled.
“We have attempted to get on the phone. I have offered to come and sit before her and that has not happened,” Murphy says. “We had a call set up that was canceled once, if not twice. It’s been frustrating.”
The governor says that New Jersey has done everything it has been asked to do, such as doing environmental work earlier than expected and working with New York officials. He says that the Port Authority and New York have also come up with a “really credible package of broader financing.” But he says that federal officials keep saying more needs to be done.
The project was given a medium- to low-priority ranking, which makes it nearly impossible to apply for federal grants for the Hudson River tunnel and the Portal Bridge in Kearny.
The project would be expected to cost $13 billion – the majority of which New York and New Jersey have offered to pay.
Supporters of the project say that the nearly 100-year-old rail tunnels are in danger of failure – an event which would be catastrophic for the country.