Biden’s proposed budget includes $100M for Gateway Tunnel

Published: Mar. 28, 2022

President Joe Biden’s proposed budget includes $100 million for the Gateway project, a down payment on the federal share of the $12.3 billion train tunnel under the Hudson River.

The money would come out of the Capital Improvement Grant program, which Biden proposed funding at $4.5 billion for the 12 months beginning Oct. 1. Federal Transit Administrator Nuria Fernandez said that future funding for the tunnel would come from future allocations, based on a final agreement for building the tunnel.

“It’s an affirmation that they’re on the right track,” Fernandez said.

While the Federal Transit Administration in January raised its rating for Gateway to medium-high, making it eligible for federal funding, there are still several steps to be taken with the states of New Jersey and New York and other agencies involved in construction before the U.S. writes its first check.

“The way it works is once we sign with project sponsors, that would a commitment for funding on an annual basis,” Fernandez said on a conference call with reporters to discuss the U.S. Transportation Department’s proposed budget. “Several steps are still required that they need to complete.”

Fernandez said that the $100 million is the realistic amount that the Gateway Program could spend in its first year after a final funding agreement is completed.

Gateway Program spokesman Stephen Sigmund said his group was continuing to work with federal and state officials and local partners to reach the final funding agreement.

“We’re grateful the Biden administration is continuing to move toward a full funding grant agreement for the Hudson Tunnel project by, for the first time, including substantial specific funding in next year’s federal budget,” Sigmund said. “The commitment is another in a series of real steps this administration has taken to move the project forward.”

Federal funding for Amtrak also has been increased, providing another potential source of money to help cover construction costs.

In addition, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced last week that the agency would begin accepting applications for the National Infrastructure Project Assistance program, known as MEGA, which would cover 50% of the costs of major construction projects of national or regional significance that otherwise would be too large or too complex to receive funding under traditional transportation programs.

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published this page in News and Politics 2022-03-29 03:27:42 -0700