Amtrak’s Gateway Tunnel Rises in ARCs Ashes

Today, New Jersey’s Democratic Senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez joined Amtrak officials in announcing a proposal to build the “Gateway Project,” which would follow a similar footprint as the abandoned Access to the Region’s Core tunnel, which Governor Christie aborted last year. We had reported the possibility of Amtrak stepping in to salvage some form of the concept.

Amtrak says it will look for contributions from New Jersey, New York and government agencies to cover the estimated $13.5 billion cost.

The Gateway Project would allow 13 additional NJ Transit trains enter the city during peak hours.

“New Jersey is facing a transportation crisis,” said Lautenberg.

Our commuters are fed up with train delays that make them late to work and endless traffic that traps them on our highways when they want to be home with their families. When the ARC Tunnel was cancelled, it was clear to me that we couldn’t just throw up our hands and wait years to find another solution. I immediately went to work looking for new ways to get cars off our roads and expand rail access from New Jersey neighborhoods to New York City office buildings. Amtrak answered the call.

What do you think? Can Amtrak get it done?

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9 COMMENTS

  1. The same Amtrak that regularly overbooks trains forcing passengers to sit on the floor (it happened to me twice) and has more delays than you would think possible? Um, I don’t think so.

  2. Amtrak is another sinister side effect of the Maoist, Moslem Brotherhood apologist, unions-on-the-dole Nanny State. We need to stop this insanity and choke our highways to the gills with Escalades, Navigators and Infiniti QX56’s, hopefully in creamy white with rich leather interiors.
    That’s what the Founding Fathers really wanted.

  3. Only $13.5 billion, heck’s that’s only 2.25% of the latest round of spending by the Fed. Frankie and Robbie ought to be able to bring home more than enough bacon to cover that bill.

  4. Christie was afraid of the cost overruns. Seeing that the estimate for the project is almost $5 Billion more than the ARC estimate, I have to think it was a good move on his part. Why should NJ (we) be the ones who fund this? At least this proposal has NY paying some of the costs.

  5. Absolutely; there should be responsible, adult negotiations about how the costs are apportioned. But to dismiss an infrastructural project of this sort with the simple “we can’t afford it” mantra, as many people who opposed ARC did and many people will no doubt do in response to this proposal, isn’t kosher. The Suroweicki article does a great job of quickly touching on the reasons why. I especially like the factoid about the estimated 35% annual ROI of the interstate highway system.

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