TRENTON – Following a presentation by an Amtrak representative this morning, state Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29) asked about how a proposed Gateway Program designed to relieve outdated infrastructure would alter or enhance Newark Penn Station.
“At the moment the station is big enough to [absorb the changes proposed in the Gateway Program],” Steve Gardner of Amtrak told the senator.
“As someone who lives in Newark I recognize the importance of the rail system,” said Ruiz, who backed up Gardner’s call for the comprehensive project.
The Amtrak rep couldn’t give Ruiz a hard cost figure for a tunnel project aimed at completion – if it gets the requisite backing now – in 2025. He said the goal is for the feds to pay 80% of the costs and the states to pay 20%.
“We are just beginning the design phase,” explained Gardner when he couldn’t supply a hard number.