Amtrak Plans $13.5-Billion Hudson Tunnel

Amtrak has announced plans for a $13.5-billion rail tunnel project to connect New York City and New Jersey.

The rail giant said it would spend $50 million on preliminary engineering and design work on two tunnels under the Hudson River. New York and New Jersey state governments, as well as local authorities, could contribute further funds, Amtrak said. The project is expected to be completed by 2020.

A similar project was cancelled by NJ Gov. Chris Christie last year for being too expensive. Gov. Christie’s decision stunned federal officials, who had designated the Hudson project to receive one of the largest single national allocations of federal stimulus funds. Christie said estimates for the project had increased by almost one-third since it was announced.

“The two new trans-Hudson tunnels envisioned under this plan will provide long-sought, peak period operational capacity and is an investment that will improve transportation flexibility and reliability for decades to come,” Amtrak said.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said: “The Gateway Project is a vision for our future that will shorten commutes, create jobs, increase property values and grow New Jersey’s economy.”

Currently, there is one century-old rail tunnel servicing the Hudson crossing.