Long-delayed Gateway Tunnel project will clear an important milestone, source says

Posted May 27, 2021

President Joe Biden’s administration on Friday will release a long-delayed environmental impact statement for the Gateway Tunnel project, removing another hurdle in the multiyear effort to get federal funding for the new train tunnel under the Hudson River, according to an official familiar with the matter, who spoke under condition of anonymity in advance of the official announcement.

The federal government and the states of New Jersey and New York also still must agree on how the project is will be funded, and the Federal Transit Administration must raise the project’s rating in order to make Gateway eligible for funding.

Under the former administration, the U.S. Transportation Department opposed Gateway, and lowered the project’s rating making it ineligible for federal assistance.

Biden has included funding for the tunnel in his $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, and current Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in March that the department would release the environmental impact statement by the end of June.

The new tunnel will allow the existing tubes to be closed to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

The Federal Railroad Administration initially missed a March 30, 2018, deadline for the environmental statement and Buttigieg’s predecessor as transportation secretary, Elaine Chao said the statement wouldn’t be completed as long as the new Hudson River tunnel did not to qualify for federal funding.

The Federal Transit Administration in February reversed a Trump administration ruling said it would allow states to use U.S. government loans that they have to repay to cover their share of a project, making it eligible for federal funding.

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-05-28 03:05:01 -0700