Biden Kicks Off Hudson Rail Tunnel Project in New York City

January 31, 2023

President Biden was in New York City on Tuesday where he announced a $292 million “mega” grant to help complete an early phase of the Hudson Tunnel project.

The funding comes from the bipartisan Infrastructure Law that Biden signed in November 2021, which includes $66 billion for passenger rail projects. 

The Hudson Tunnel transports 200,000 Amtrak and New Jersey Transit passengers through the Hudson River between New York City and New Jersey every weekday. The repairs set to kick off have been promised for at least eight years as part of an Obama-era project known as “Gateway,” one of the most important public work programs in the nation.

“This is a critical step for everything we’re going to do in the [Northeast] corridor and rail, period,” Biden said, referring to the stretch of the U.S. from Boston to Washington DC. “We finally have the money and we’re going to get it done—I promise you, we’re going to get it done.”

According to the White House, the money will go toward the extension of a concrete casing for the tunnels on the West Side of Manhattan between Pennsylvania Station and the Hudson River. 

That work comes ahead of digging 2.4-mile-long tunnels under the Hudson, which is expected to take three years and cost more than $16 billion.

New York’s two U.S. Senators, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both Democrats, joined Biden at the Hudson project’s kick-off. 

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), meanwhile, noted that the Northeast corridor produces roughly 20% of the country’s GDP, and said that Biden was finally ushering in long-awaited modernization to an essential artery that moves countless people and goods through the heart of the U.S. economy.

“This is a hallelujah moment,” Booker said.

Biden’s visit to New York City comes a day after he visited Baltimore to kick off a project to replace the 150-year-old Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel with a new Frederick Douglass Tunnel. That project will cost an estimated $6 billion, of which the federal government under the Infrastructure Law will cover $4.7 billion.

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