(The Center Square) – The proposed $5.8 trillion fiscal 2023 federal budget includes $100 million for a new tunnel between New Jersey and New York City and more than $330 million for a new bridge over the Hackensack River.
The roughly $12 billion Hudson River Tunnel is part of the Gateway Program, a series of improvements on a section of the busy Northeast Corridor between Newark, New Jersey, and New York City. Both Amtrak and NJ Transit use the tunnel, which the Pennsylvania Railroad opened more than 110 years ago.
The budget also includes more than $339.5 million in funding for the Portal North Bridge, also part of the Gateway Program. Last year, the NJ Transit Board of Directors approved a nearly $1.6 billion contract to replace the bridge and subsequently broke ground on the project.
“No state or region in our great country relies on its bridges and tunnels more than New Jersey and the Tristate,” U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-New Jersey, said in a statement. “New Jersey and our region’s growth for the next generation depends on strengthening those avenues for travel and if we fail, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast can atrophy. All of us know completion of a new tunnel and bridge is absolutely essential to guaranteeing our future.
“…This massive $100,000,000 down payment is another building block as we move closer to commencing work on the Gateway Tunnel,” Pascrell added. “The over $339 million for the Portal North Bridge will continue to build on the work we’ve done to replace the existing 110-year-old span over the Hackensack River.”
The current tunnel – also known as the North River Tunnel – has two tubes, each with a single track, extending about two-and-a-half miles from North Bergen, New Jersey, to Penn Station. The Gateway Program intends to rehabilitate the existing Amtrak-owned tunnel after the new tunnel opens.
Officials previously said construction on the new tunnel could start in August 2023.
The money is part of more than $4.4 billion for “15 major transit projects in seven states,” the U.S. Department of Transportation said in a release. The budget also includes $17.9 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration, including funding for Amtrak, and $400 million for an extension of the Second Avenue Subway in New York City.