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Abandoned ARC Tunnel May Become Amtrak Gateway

NJ's two U.S. Senators collaborated with Amtrak to propose an alternative to the Access to the Region's Core tunnel that N.J. Gov. Chris Christie canceled in Oct. 7. Unlike ARC, the Gateway tunnel will lead directly into Penn Station.
February 8, 2011, 7am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"The 'Gateway' tunnel proposed by Amtrak would largely follow the same footprint as the canceled nine-mile Access to the Region's Core tunnel from Secaucus to New York City, but connect to new tracks in an expanded New York Penn Station instead of dead-ending deep under West 34th Street, representatives for U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez said tonight."

The main issue that led Christie to cancel ARC was his concern that NJ would be liable for all cost overruns, which had been predicted to be substantial by some. While ARC was a NJ Transit project, Gateway will be Amtrak's.

"Many hurdles will have to be overcome, including finding federal and local funding for a project that could cost upwards of $10 billion. But Amtrak officials say they believe the tunnel fits in well with President Obama's vision for infrastructure improvements in America and high-speed rail in the Northeast Corridor from Boston to Washington, D.C."

Amtrak Gateway may have to compete with NYC's #7 subway extension alternative to Secaucus.

From Hudson River Reporter: "Various groups officials praise plans for new NJ to NY rail tunnel":

"Thanks to Gov. Christie, we've had a $600 million hole-to-nowhere in my district that symbolized one of the worst decisions any governor has ever made. But Sens. Menendez and Lautenberg and Amtrak have put sound economic and transportation policy over sound bites. I laud their leadership and look forward to this plan moving forward", said Secaucus-based Assemblyman Vincent Prieto.

Thanks to E&E Publishing - Greenwire

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, February 6, 2011 in The Star-Ledger (New Jersey)
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