President Biden is scheduled to announce a $292 million federal grant to fund the building of portions of two Hudson River train tunnels in Manhattan on Tuesday, along with Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams, and other elected officials.
When finished, the most significant component of the massive Gateway Program, the so-called Hudson Tunnel Project, will transport trains back and forth from Penn Station and the Secaucus station in New Jersey, which is 412 miles distant beneath the Hudson Yards.
According to a White House official, the Biden grant will pay for roughly half of the cost of creating the concrete tunnel casing, which is “a vital early phase” of the project.
The White House reports that several prominent Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, and Sen. Cory Booker, are also anticipated to attend Biden’s press conference on Tuesday at Hudson Yards. Pete Buttigieg, the secretary of transportation, will also be present.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which Biden signed into law in the final months of 2021, is responsible for the $292 million tunnel grant.
The White House claims that once finished, the Hudson Tunnel Project will create 72,000 “good-paying” employment and increase train reliability for 200,000-weekday customers on New Jersey Transit and Amtrak.
The project will renovate the current tunnels and build two new ones; the project will rehabilitate the existing ones, which first opened in 1910.
The tunnel project’s expected cost increased from $14.1 billion to $16.1 billion last year.
Even though the projected completion date for the new tunnels has already been advanced multiple times, 2038 is still the current projection.
Delays have long plagued the Gateway Program, a multi-phased expansion and restoration of the Northeast Corridor rail line between Newark and the city.
Under former President Donald Trump, whose Transportation Department gave Gateway a “medium-low” priority, the enormous infrastructure project experienced numerous operational and financial difficulties.
The timing of Biden’s trip to New York coincides with the city’s ongoing struggle to house and provide services for the tens of thousands of migrants, mainly from Latin America, who have arrived since last spring.
Adams and Hochul have been lamenting the Biden administration’s lack of financial and logistical support for New York as the migrant situation worsens for months.