WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) said on Wednesday that the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which he is a member, has approved at least $15 million for Amtrak to begin design and engineering work on the Gateway Tunnel project.
“When Governor Christie cancelled the ARC (Access to the Region’s Core) tunnel last year, New Jersey was thrown into a transportation crisis with no solution to meet our state’s growing transit needs and to break the gridlock on our congested highways,” Lautenberg said in a statement.
Citing projected cost overruns, Christie cancelled the ARC tunnel project, but has been open to the proposed Gateway project.
The project, which is expected to produce 65 percent more capacity, will have more NJ Transit and Amtrak trains coming into and out of New York, as well as expand intercity and high-speed rail access on the Northeast Corridor.
Lautenberg said in a release that a new tunnel project would create jobs, improve the region’s economy, and ease traffic problems.
During peak hours, the number of NJ Transit trains going into New York would increase from 20 to 33 per hour, in addition to adding eight additional Amtrak trains during that period. The new tunnels would connect to the new Moynihan station as well as to a new Penn Station South that is connected to the existing New York Penn station, which has reached its capacity.