Feds Give ARC Tunnel Rating Boost

NEWARK, N.J. — The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has boosted its rating for the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) Tunnel project to “medium high,” improving the project’s rating and positioning for federal funding.

In its New Starts ratings report dated Feb. 5, the FTA noted that the ARC Tunnel project has “put together an experienced design team and performed thorough analysis of project requirements.” The report also indicated that a final Record of Decision to advance the project is expected this year.

“This rating recognizes ARC nationally as a critical transportation project and demonstrates why it is important to have New Jersey’s local funding commitment in hand,” N.J. Gov. Jon S. Corzine said. “My financial restructuring and debt reduction plan cuts debt in half while providing necessary transportation infrastructure investment for a generation.”

“Doubling rail capacity between New Jersey and Manhattan will help ease commutes, reduce traffic and provide substantial economic benefits for our state,” said Senator Robert Menendez. “With this announcement, we get one step closer to making this a reality, which is terrific news for New Jersey.”

The ARC program includes two new single-track railroad tunnels between New Jersey and New York, additional Penn Station capacity under 34th Street in Manhattan, and signal and track improvements along and adjacent to the Northeast Corridor.

The project will allow for the introduction of one-seat rail service to New York on the Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley and Raritan Valley lines, the Montclair Boonton line west of Montclair, North Jersey Coast Line south to Bay Head, as well as the Morristown Line west of Dover. It will also create the capacity for future rail extensions.

The project includes expanded station capacity for New York Penn Station under 34th Street, with underground connections to several New York City subway lines (A, B, C, D, E, F, N, Q, R, V, W, 1, 2, 3, and PATH trains.)