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Kris
June 21st, 2003, 01:50 AM
June 21, 2003

New Jersey to Study Proposal for Rail Tunnel

By RONALD SMOTHERS

NEWARK, June 20 — New Jersey Transit today chose two engineering firms to begin environmental impact studies of a proposed new rail tunnel under the Hudson River. The move helped inch forward a nearly decade-old idea that still is not likely to be a reality for at least another decade.

The commuter transit agency chose a joint venture of the engineering firms of Manhattan-based Parsons Brinckerhoff and Bloomfield, N.J.-based Systra Consulting to do the $4.9 million preliminary study of the proposal. The eventual cost of the tunnel, which would be built south of the existing 93-year-old rail tunnel, has been estimated at $5 billion.

In a meeting of the agency's board in the vaulted waiting room of Newark Penn Station and at a press conference afterward, Gov. James E. McGreevey was joined by both of the state's U.S. senators and U.S. Representative William Pascrell, all of whom would be called on to secure federal funds for any tunnel project, and officials of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Noting that between 2010 and 2020 the existing tunnels will reach capacity, the governor said trans-Hudson travel was too important to the region to delay any longer.

"It will be the largest and most important project of our generation, and too often our generation avoids focusing on difficult projects," said Mr. McGreevey. "But we must look beyond the immediate horizon and put the groundwork in place for the next generation."

Today's action by New Jersey incrementally advances an idea that has been the object of some tension between New Jersey and New York. Since a 1995 study proposed several new trans-Hudson tunnel options, the two states have at times differed on which option best served each of their interests. At one time New York feared that the cost of the trans-Hudson tunnel would crowd out other projects.

Mr. McGreevey was careful to say today that the draft study he was authorizing with federal funds obtained by New Jersey would help put the tunnel "in the context of an overall plan for the region" so that New York's Gov. George E. Pataki could see its benefits.

More important, said one state transportation official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, New Jersey had dropped proposals by previous state administrations that would have the tunnel run to Grand Central Terminal rather than to Penn Station, where commuter trains originating in New Jersey now stop. That option was seen by some in New York as encroaching on the east side terminal and interfering with the city's goal of bringing Long Island Rail Road trains into the terminal.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

RonaldD
June 21st, 2003, 05:56 AM
These passenger tunnels are vital. The proposed freight tunnel from NJ to Brooklyn is not.

STT757
June 21st, 2003, 11:56 PM
This project will nearly double the amount of NJ Transit trains into Manhattan, this is good for NJ and NY.

It benefits NJ residents and brings more workers into the City, making staying in or re-locating to the City an easier decision for employers.

The new Hudson rail tunnel for NJ Transit, East Side Access for LIRR, LIRR connection to Lower Manhattan via a new East river tunnel, the new Lower Manhattan transit "hubs", PATH extension to EWR, a direct connection of the JFK Airtrain to Penn Station and Lower Manhattan.

These are all terrific projects which is going to NYC much more accessible to visitors, commuters and business travelers.

The economic benefits from these transit projects being developed will extend 100 years.

dbhstockton
June 22nd, 2003, 02:13 PM
It will also make NJ more accessible to New Yorkers. *I dream of the day when NJ Transit trains will run like the subway.

NYguy
June 22nd, 2003, 03:02 PM
They won't run as frequently as the subway, but service has improved a lot. *I'm still waiting to see how the new Secaucus transfer station (which looks great) will affect things.

STT757
June 22nd, 2003, 10:01 PM
Secaucus transfer is going to make trains more crowded, that's for sure.

They are also working on the Meadowlands spur as part of that Xanadu project, so hopefully folks from NY will be able to take NJ Transit to a Giants game (via Secaucus transfer).

http://www.accesstotheregionscore.com

STT757
June 22nd, 2003, 10:02 PM
"PRESS RELEASE:
McGreevey Announces Major Progress for “ARC” Project
Governor, supporters announce awarding of DEIS for Access to the Region’s Core Project
Expanded passenger facilities, track and tunnel planning launched


(NEWARK) – As part of an ongoing effort to increase rail capacity between New Jersey and New York, Governor James E. McGreevey was joined at Newark Penn Station today by federal, state and local lawmakers and advocacy groups to announce a major step forward in the Access to the Region’s Core project.


During a special meeting, NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors awarded a $4.9 million contract to Transit Link, a joint venture of Parsons Brinkerhoff and Systra Engineering, to produce a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) project.


“New Jersey’s transportation network is an integral part of our attraction as a business location, an engine of economic growth, and new job creation,” said McGreevey. “We must keep New Jersey’s commuters moving to keep our economy growing and jobs coming. Between 2010 and 2020, our rail tunnels will reach maximum capacity. We can add all the bi-level cars and additional train stations physically possible, but at some point, we must make sure that the infrastructure is in place to support increased ridership.”


The ARC study could become one of the region’s largest ever public works projects – and lead to the creation of thousands of jobs – by constructing expanded passenger facilities in close proximity to Penn Station New York, trackwork and a two-track rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River. The trans-Hudson corridor development project will benefit both New Jersey and New York by improving mobility, serving as a catalyst for economic development and creating safety- and security-critical redundancy.


United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, who secured the dollars being announced today in 2000, stated, “I was proud to get this money and I will work hard to see we get the full amount necessary to get this tunnel built. A new tunnel will create jobs, reduce congestion and help the environment. It’s a win-win for everyone."


United States Senator Jon S. Corzine announced that he is seeking $16 million in federal dollars to fund the next level of planning efforts needed to advance the project. Corzine stated, “A second Hudson River commuter rail tunnel is essential for continued economic growth in our region. The ability of NJ Transit to improve and expand rail service - and connect a variety of rail routes in northern and central New Jersey - depends on the construction of this new tunnel. More people riding NJ Transit trains will mean fewer cars on the road during rush hours and fewer traffic jams. And that not only means greater economic productivity, it means cleaner air.”


U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure stated, "Unless we want to start paving over our backyards, we must continue to increase opportunity for New Jerseyans to get out of their cars and into the mass transit system. Access to Manhattan is critical to the economic growth of our state and another passenger car tunnel is not an option. For every billion dollars spent on transportation projects, 42,000 jobs are created. This project will not only provide cleaner air, more efficient travel, and increase quality of New Jersey life, but it will create jobs as well. I am proud to take the lead on House Transportation Committee to seek federal funding for the project through the upcoming surface transportation reauthorization."


In partnership with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ), the DEIS will refine and analyze plans for expanded passenger facilities in midtown Manhattan, new track, bridge work and the construction of a new trans-Hudson tunnel, providing significant capacity relief by effectively doubling the number of trains operating to and from midtown Manhattan. The project would ease rail traffic congestion in the heart of the region.


Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia joined the Governor at the announcement and said, "For more than 80 years, the Port Authority has worked to create a world-class transportation network that would support jobs and economic growth throughout the region. This bold, aggressive rail plan will ease traffic delays at the Hudson River crossings, provide more capacity to transport people to and from Manhattan by rail, and ultimately help support economic growth in New York and New Jersey."


Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, "This study will help us determine the feasibility of a Hudson River Tunnel and determine the best way to move forward with this project. The Port Authority and NJ Transit will continue to work together to assess the impacts and benefits of the proposed project."


Joseph J. Seymore, Port Authority Executive Director stated, “This regional partnership will help ensure that New York Penn Station has the capability to handle expanded commuter, intercity, and airport-access services well into the next century."


Officials said today the project would provide multiple regional benefits. It is expected to create several thousand construction jobs, and ultimately will provide commuter access to more than one million jobs in midtown Manhattan. Importantly, additional rail capacity will contribute to recreational and commercial development opportunities on the west side of midtown Manhattan and along the Northeast Corridor in New Jersey. In addition to the expanded capacity, the project provides safety- and security-critical redundancies in a post-9/11 environment, and protects the reliability of the region’s transportation network.


New Jersey Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jack Lettiere said,

“A century ago, visionaries changed our economic future by creating the region’s first trans-Hudson passenger rail initiative, including construction of a critical tunnel between New Jersey and New York. Governor McGreevey is likewise securing the next generation’s economic future by making expanded passenger rail access a transportation priority.”


Specifically, the DEIS will:

· Identify connecting opportunities between NJ TRANSIT and other regional transit

providers including New York City subways, Amtrak and PATH.

· Pursue more detailed analysis and conceptual engineering of all project components.

· Establish a phased implementation plan to provide near-term capacity relief and long-term capacity expansion.

· Conduct environmental analysis and public outreach in conformance with FTA requirements.


The DEIS – scheduled for completion in 2005 – is the next step of work required to allow the New Jersey, midtown Manhattan trans-Hudson corridor development project to continue qualifying for federal funding. The next steps are:

· 2005 to 2007 – Preliminary engineering and final design work.

· 2008 – Groundbreaking for near term capacity improvements (including new double-track railroad between Secaucus and Hudson River and a new storage yard west of existing Penn Station New York).

· 2010 – Begin construction of tunnel and expanded station area in New York.

· 2015 – Estimated completion of construction.


Work on the ARC project began in 1994 when NJ TRANSIT, the PANYNJ and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority began assessing the need to better integrate the regional transportation network. Since that time, ridership to Penn Station New York has grown substantially on all three rail lines serving Penn Station New York – the Northeast Corridor, the North Jersey Coast Line and MidTOWN DIRECT rail service.


Capacity on the system was further constrained by the September 11, 2001 closure of the PATH World Trade Center station. Additionally, NJ TRANSIT will begin opening the Secaucus Transfer Station on weekends in fall 2003, with plans to offer weekday service following the opening of a new PATH lower Manhattan station in November 2003, requiring more capacity needs.


In addition to pursuing the trans-Hudson corridor development, NJ TRANSIT – under the leadership of the Board of Directors and Governor McGreevey – has been implementing a “Back to Basics” program that includes increasing available seats on trains and buses, expanding parking opportunities at passenger facilities, improving customer service and making investments in critical equipment and infrastructure to improve the reliability of service. "

ablarc
June 23rd, 2003, 07:17 AM
Is it time to start thinking about a totally integrated regional rail system with free transfers? Maybe a zone system such as exists in the Washington area. Do-able now that electronic tickets have arrived.

TLOZ Link5
June 28th, 2003, 04:36 PM
Editorial from today's Daily News:

A Port Authority custom

Manhattan: Your June 23 editorial "A tale of two tunnels," about the rail freight tunnel from Brooklyn to New Jersey, is proof again that the Port Authority helps Jersey at the expense of New York. If the PA had any interest in rebuilding the Brooklyn waterfront, this tunnel would have been dug years ago.

Similarly, if the PA wanted the Custom House back in lower Manhattan, and was actively promoting it, Customs would have returned. Nobody seems to remember why the World Trade Center was built — and what it stood for. The idea of having all the trade community in one location was never really pursued. The brokers, forwarders and steamship lines that moved into the Trade Center were treated miserably. As a result, most did not renew their leases at the new, exorbitant rents.

The twin towers were designed by the PA to make it feel great about having the tallest buildings in the world. By 9/11, I don’t think there were any tenants involved in world trade. No wonder the paperwork handled by the Custom House had diminished.

Marilyn Cohen

Kris
May 12th, 2004, 11:26 AM
Governor presses for a third N.Y. rail tunnel
McGreevey: Project vital to N.J. economy

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

BY RON MARSICO
Star-Ledger Staff

Gov. James E. McGreevey has started a major new push for a proposed third rail tunnel linking New Jersey to Midtown Manhattan, a $5 billion, 10-year mega-project that has been bogged down in bureaucracy for more than a decade.

The full-court press stems from two big concerns: NJ Transit ridership will double to nearly 100,000 rush-hour passengers by 2015, and with numerous other massive transportation projects planned in New York City, the competition for funding from the federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is likely to become fierce.

"This is also critically tied to our economic expansion," said McGreevey, flanked by his administration's key transportation officials last week during a Statehouse interview. "This represents our lifeblood."

Officials want construction on the project, known officially as Access to the Region's Core, to begin on a tunnel with two tubes in 2007, with completion in 2014. One tube could be completed as early as 2011, providing extra capacity if the city lands the 2012 Olympics, they said.

Currently, NJ Transit uses two century-old tunnels with one track each near the Lincoln Tunnel to carry some 43,000 passengers into Midtown at peak hours and a total of 118,000 per day. Both figures are expected to double by 2015. Those tunnels are owned by Amtrak, which has priority use.

The idea for a new tunnel -- which also would be near the Lincoln Tunnel -- was first broached in the 1920s and was considered urgently needed by the early 1990s, but it has stalled amid tepid interest at times and financial constraints.

"But Gov. McGreevey has indicated from the beginning that he thought this was a high-priority project," said Martin Robins, ARC's first director and a transportation expert at Rutgers University.

Robins said he believes McGreevey can be successful, in large part because of support from Anthony Coscia, the Port Authority chairman.

New Jersey officials now say it is a virtual necessity to increase rail capacity.

"We've underinvested in infrastructure for a long time," Coscia said.

Also driving New Jersey's interest is New York's aggressive pursuit of more than half a dozen big projects in Manhattan.

New York Gov. George Pataki, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials have made commitments to various projects in Manhattan and the outlying city boroughs. They include a Second Avenue Subway, a Long Island Rail Road link to Grand Central Terminal and the No.7 Subway extension to Manhattan's West Side.

"I've had ongoing discussions with Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg regarding the importance (of the third tunnel) for New Jersey and New York," said McGreevey. "Our argument is that ARC is critical for both states."

So far, city officials have given only "support in principle" for the project, subject to various conditions.

Just last week, Pataki trumpeted one of his most ambitious goals: a $6 billion rail spur from Lower Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens that would include a new three-mile tunnel. Pakati is seeking some $560 million from the Port Authority for the new link, even though critics question whether there will be enough riders to justify the costs.

The ARC project seeks $2 billion from the federal government. Officials with the Port Authority have talked about a $1 billion commitment, but Coscia says he would like to see that amount increased to perhaps as much as $2 billion. The remainder likely would be sought from state sources.

Jack Lettiere, the state Department of Transportation commissioner, said what "moves this in Washington is if there's a strong commitment by the Port Authority."

Thus far, only $5 million has been appropriated for an environmental impact study that is scheduled to be finished in the summer of 2005.

NJ Transit officials say the study will help determine whether a new six-track station to accommodate the third tunnel is built beneath 34th Street or 31st Street. Both would parallel the existing Penn Station platforms, but state officials prefer 34th Street because it is a wider thoroughfare and offers more room below ground.

Administration officials also want interim improvements begun as early as 2006 to add capacity as the major construction begins. They said more than $300 million will be sought over the next two fiscal years to help begin funding extension of existing Penn Station platforms east to accommodate longer trains, lengthening concourses and expanding a nearby train yard.

"This is now real," said George Warrington, NJ Transit's executive director. "What we've done here is a very precise scheduling of action."

The Regional Plan Association, a nonprofit planning organization that has long promoted the project, cheered the initiative.

"The growth in commuting into New York City is coming from west of the Hudson," said Jeremy Soffin, an RPA spokesman. "New York needs to plan to get these people to the jobs in New York, otherwise the jobs won't be there."

Ron Marsico covers transportation issues. He can be reached at rmarsico@starledger.com or (973) 392-7860).

Copyright 2004 The Star-Ledger.

dbhstockton
May 12th, 2004, 04:15 PM
Damnit this stuff takes for ever. I'm going to be old and grey by the time this gets built. Somebody needs to start cracking the whip on projects like this. If only we had a Robert Moses of Mass Transit...

Ninjahedge
May 13th, 2004, 03:04 PM
Side question.

If they were to build a new tunnel from NJ to NY/Outer Boroughs, would you favor any access to Manhattan from it or vice versa?

My own opinion is to have a roadway that cuts across Manhattan and maybe has, AT MOST, a single lane entrance/exit ramp with a long que (sp) line.

There needs to be something to allow transit to get from one side of Manhattan to another without having to DEAL with Manhattan......

STT757
May 13th, 2004, 11:57 PM
They are in the planning stages for replacing the Goethals bridge with a much larger bridge, the only realistic way to get traffic to Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island from NJ is via Staten Island.

The Staten Island Expressway has to be the most congested in the Tri-State, it's really bad.

They need to build more lanes from the "new" Geothals bridge to the Varranzano.

The only other solution is to build a combined bridge/tunnel from Monmouth County NJ to Brooklyn, similar to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel. Perhaps a spur off the Parkway in the vincinity of Middletown North.

Ninjahedge
May 14th, 2004, 02:45 PM
That would work well for central jersey and Princeton, but it still stinks for most of the people coming from the northern suburbs (Hudson, Essex, Bergen, Passaic counties...).

I guess what I am asking is that is there any way to get people from where they are coming to where they are going without too much in between. If a lot of the through traffic had some other way to go that was not out of the way (I can drive up to the TZB on off-rush times and fly across, but that is a LONG ride from Hoboken), would that help with city traffic problems?

It seems like the most conjested areas of the city are, invariably, the crossings......

krulltime
August 4th, 2004, 12:24 AM
LIGHT DIMS FOR NJ TRANSIT TUNNEL


August 3, 2004

Proponents of a third cross-Hudson rail tunnel lost a bit of hoped-for leverage recently when they learned that New York City's Olympics bid will rely on buses, not the trains that run under the river, to transport athletes to basketball and soccer games at the Meadowlands. Insiders say that the $5 billion to $7 billion New Jersey Transit project has Gov. James McGreevey's support, but needs an extra boost to push it to the top of the list for federal funding.

Backers of the tunnel are now soliciting the support of the New York City Central Labor Council. The tunnel project would create some 6,000 construction jobs.


Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

Ninjahedge
August 4th, 2004, 10:29 AM
What about making the train more liuke what was mentioned earlier? More of a path train than a mass transit train.

Link NYC to NJ a bit more than through Hoboken and JC. be able to get on a car at 33rd street and take it across to the javitz, then across to Weehawken and from Weehawken down to Hoboken.

Everybody keeps talking about the "light rail" but I don't see much coming from that besides the moving of JC residents to the mall. :P

Kris
January 13th, 2005, 07:44 AM
January 13, 2005

New in the Cellar at Macy's: A Tunnel to New Jersey?

By PATRICK McGEEHAN

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/01/12/opinion/20050113_tunnel.gif

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/01/13/nyregion/tunnel.583.jpg
Pedestrians crossed yesterday at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue, where a rail tunnel to Midtown from New Jersey is proposed by transportation agencies.

An influential group of New York business leaders has thrown its weight behind a plan to build a $5 billion rail tunnel under the Hudson River that would bring commuters to a new train station at the foot of Macy's flagship store on 34th Street.

The directors of the Partnership for New York City, concerned about relying on century-old infrastructure for getting their employees to work, decided late last year that the proposed tunnel should be a priority for government financing, said Kathryn S. Wylde, president and chief executive of the partnership.

Before that, Ms. Wylde said, the city's business leaders were not convinced that New York needed another hole in the ground.

But after hearing from officials of New Jersey Transit as well as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the partnership changed its list of priorities for 2005, saying that building the tunnel is as critical to the economy of New York as a new transit hub downtown and an extension of the No. 7 subway to the Far West Side, she said.

"The commuter tunnels under the Hudson are a lifeline for hundreds of Manhattan businesses, both in terms of bringing employees in from New Jersey and in terms of their work forces moving back and forth between locations," Ms. Wylde said. She added that the group decided that "a commuter rail tunnel into 34th Street would be a significant benefit to the New York economy and would provide an important service to maximize the value of the commercial development sites on the Far West Side."

Swaying the group, whose board includes the chairmen of American Express, J. P. Morgan Chase and Federated Department Stores, could give the tunnel plan a fighting chance in competing against a growing list of transportation projects. Drawing boards around the region are filled with multibillion-dollar ideas, including a rail tunnel from Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn and a freight-train tunnel under New York Harbor.

"We can't build them all at once," said Anthony R. Coscia, chairman of the Port Authority.

Mr. Coscia said that the Hudson tunnel plan, also known as Access to the Region's Core, or ARC, "should be the region's priority," and he pledged to advocate "a significant contribution" from his agency. Much of the money should come from the federal government, Mr. Coscia said, but local sources would have to provide at least $2 billion and the Port Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority should be among them.

Mr. Coscia and George D. Warrington, the executive director of New Jersey Transit, have rounded up support from politicians west of the Hudson, including New Jersey's acting governor, Richard J. Codey, and its two United States senators, Frank R. Lautenberg and Jon S. Corzine. Mr. Warrington has also been calling on business and community leaders in New York to pitch the unusual notion of letting an out-of-state agency like New Jersey Transit dig into Manhattan and build a train station under 34th Street, between Avenue of the Americas and Eighth Avenue.

"You can't play in their sandbox without a lot of consultation," Mr. Warrington said, sitting at the head of a conference table in the New Jersey Transit headquarters in downtown Newark.

New Jersey Transit operates trains that carry more than 40,000 commuters under the Hudson and into Pennsylvania Station each weekday morning. Three of every four new jobs in Manhattan are being filled by people who live across the river, Mr. Warrington said, but the commuter train system is almost at full capacity. In the decade it would take to build the tunnel, New Jersey Transit could run out of space on its trains and its platforms at Penn Station, he said.

"There really isn't an appreciation out there for how tenuous, how fragile, the entire system is," Mr. Warrington said.

But he is working on that. With a PowerPoint presentation about the commuter crunch, he has ventured off his home turf to reach out to every organization that might help or hurt his cause. His tour made one of its first stops in a Macy's conference room in late September. There, Mr. Warrington and some of his top assistants offered an early glimpse of the station plan to representatives of the Midtown business community.

"We were shocked at how far along they were in their planning," said Daniel A. Biederman, president of the 34th Street Partnership. After hearing that the station could be built from below, with little disruption of activity at street level, the audience deemed it "a clever plan," he said.

As currently imagined, the station would be like a subway station with several platforms, directly below 34th Street, extending to just east of Seventh Avenue from Eighth Avenue. Commuters would be able to connect underground to Penn Station and several subway lines or ascend to the street near Macy's and Herald Square.

It would effectively double the number of trains and passengers that could travel in from New Jersey and points north and west, and planners hope it will take many riders and drivers out of the buses and cars that clog the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels.

In the last 10 years, New Jersey Transit has more than doubled the number of trains going into Manhattan during the morning rush, to 186 last year from 88 in 1994. But the existing tracks, in use since 1910, cannot accommodate any more, said Richard T. Roberts, New Jersey Transit's chief planner. Every weekend, one of the tracks in the existing tunnel, which runs to Penn Station from North Bergen, N.J., has to be shut down for maintenance, he said.

The tunnel would yield economic benefits too, Mr. Roberts said. A study that the agency commissioned estimated the project could create 44,000 permanent jobs in the region and increase its economic output by more than $9 billion by 2025.

Those numbers spurred the interest of the Partnership for New York City, said Ms. Wylde, who acknowledged the political hazards of backing the plan in the midst of a chess match among various city and state interests.

"For New York to support a New Jersey project is difficult because we're competing for scarce resources," Ms. Wylde said. "We still see this primarily as a New Jersey initiative, but one that deserves regional support. We would urge New York and New Jersey to work together on the ARC project."

Mr. Coscia and Mr. Warrington still have work to do on that front. Charles A. Gargano, a vice chairman for the Port Authority, said last week that the tunnel and station "could be a project of the future."

But, he added: "It's certainly not in the immediate plans. We only have so many projects we can handle at one time. I'm not being negative, but we have to be realistic."

At the moment, Mr. Gargano has other transportation plans on his mind. He is leading the drive for the expansion of Penn Station into the James A. Farley Post Office across Eighth Avenue, a move that Mr. Warrington agrees is needed. Mr. Gargano is also pushing for one of Gov. George E. Pataki's favorite ideas - digging a tunnel under the East River that would provide a direct rail link to the Wall Street area from Long Island and Kennedy International Airport.

That project would cost $6 billion, and Mr. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg are trying to ensure its future with $2 billion of unused federal tax credits that were earmarked to rebuild downtown after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. They also expect to get $560 million for it from the Port Authority and another $400 million from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

"We will have almost $3 billion for this project," Mr. Gargano said. "Right now, I don't see that for ARC."

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/01/13/nyregion/tunnel.184.2.jpg
George D. Warrington, New Jersey Transit's executive director, has met with business leaders in New York.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

Deimos
January 13th, 2005, 08:41 AM
I have 2 concerns with this project:

1. do we really need another station next to penn station?

2. does this project take into account the fact that penn station will be moving to the other side of 8th avenue at some point in the future? (assuming that the answer to 1 is a yes)

TonyO
January 13th, 2005, 09:39 AM
I have 2 concerns with this project:

1. do we really need another station next to penn station?

2. does this project take into account the fact that penn station will be moving to the other side of 8th avenue at some point in the future? (assuming that the answer to 1 is a yes)

That is a good point, and I am surprised they never mentioned the Farley building being a potential hub itself rather than build a new terminal.

ZippyTheChimp
January 13th, 2005, 10:08 AM
The "terminal" may just be an underground complex, with links to Penn Station and the subways.

A good drawing of Penn Station underground is on page 2 of the New Penn Station (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=1055&postdays=0&postorder=asc&star t=15) thread.

TonyO
January 13th, 2005, 10:51 AM
So all the platforms at a Moynihan station would be used thus making this seperate complex necessary?

TonyO
January 13th, 2005, 11:07 AM
They're talking about this right now on WNYC...

http://www.wnyc.org/

Deimos
January 13th, 2005, 01:42 PM
They're talking about this right now on WNYC...

http://www.wnyc.org/

what did they say?

TonyO
January 13th, 2005, 02:18 PM
They talked about this tunnel expansion and the proposed ship terminal in Redhook. This tunnel expansion was labeled having more impact on the economy than the LIRR/JFK rail link to lower manhattan.

There was a lot said - mostly speculative, and it turned into almost entirely Redhook discussion as there is a lot of interest/concern there. They said it was extremely unlikely that a subway expansion would touch Redhook.

alex ballard
January 14th, 2005, 04:45 PM
The ultimate solution to the New Jersey access problem is this: Build another Penn Station under the Farley building. Then give the old platforms to LIRR and the new terminal can go to NJT/Amtrak. Then split the NEC at secaucus to enter a tunnel at 44st where a new terminal for NJT/Amtrak trains under the main concourse of GCT, so as to not interfre with the MNR and LIRR. Then the whole access problem is solved.

Kris
February 8th, 2005, 10:23 PM
February 9, 2005

New Jersey Transit Is Set to Urge a New River Tunnel for a Commuter Link to Midtown

By PATRICK McGEEHAN

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/t.gifwo days after President Bush threw his financial support behind a rail link under the East River, New Jersey officials are to make a pitch today for a different rail tunnel, this one under the Hudson River.

According to a study they plan to release today, New Jersey Transit officials believe a new tunnel into Manhattan from the west would increase economic activity in the region by $10 billion and add $480 million a year to its tax base by 2025. By then, a decade after its completion, the tunnel would have helped to create 44,000 jobs, two-thirds of them in New York, the report concludes.

Those estimates were derived from projections of how many jobs would be generated in Midtown by the additional commuters the tunnel would carry. Transit officials said the current eastbound commuter rail system was nearing full capacity.

The economic study is the latest salvo in the competition for federal and state money to pay for huge improvements to the region's transportation infrastructure. New Jersey officials are lining up to push for the rail tunnel, which would connect to a new station under 34th Street between Sixth and Eighth Avenues.

The project, which would include improvements to North Jersey commuter lines, and the $5 billion that would be needed are a long way from reality and have some formidable rivals.

New York's governor, George E. Pataki, is pressing for construction of a rail link between Lower Manhattan and Long Island that would speed travel between Kennedy Airport and downtown. That project, expected to cost $6 billion, got a boost this week when the Bush administration included $2 billion for it in the federal budget.

That money, which would come out of a federal tax incentive package that was intended for redeveloping Lower Manhattan, is being lined up even though the plan's feasibility and economic and environmental impact have not been studied. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is already committed to paying $500 million of the construction costs of the downtown rail link if it proves feasible.

"The numbers speak for themselves," said Charles A. Gargano, vice chairman of the Port Authority and a Pataki appointee. "With the president's proposal, we have $3 billion. That's about 50 percent of what the estimated cost is."

Anthony R. Coscia, the chairman of the Port Authority, reiterated yesterday that he believed a new Hudson tunnel should have first priority among mass transit plans because "it does actually provide more for the region than any of the other projects." Mr. Coscia was appointed by James E. McGreevey, the former governor of New Jersey.

Robert D. Yaro, the president of the Regional Plan Association, said he considered a new Hudson tunnel to be critical to continued expansion of New York's employment base. He added that he also supported the plan to improve rail connections between Manhattan and Long Island and to build a Second Avenue subway.

"The problem here is we haven't built any new capacity in 60 years," Mr. Yaro said. "This is going to come down to having the funding in place and having the political will in place to do these things."

The study, which was conducted for New Jersey Transit by Economics Research Associates, says the entire region would grow during and after the building of the tunnel and proposed improvements to commuter rail lines in North Jersey.

Over the 10 years that the study estimates the project would take to complete, it would create an average of 3,920 construction jobs each year, according to the report. During that period, the regional economy would grow by $4.5 billion and the income of the region's residents would increase by $2.7 billion, the report estimates.

Once the construction is completed, the ability to bring in more workers would help the economy to grow much faster and benefits would spread from Hunterdon County in western New Jersey to Fairfield County in Connecticut, the report says.

Outside of New York City, the part of the region that would benefit the most would be an area covering four counties in North Jersey: Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic. Over the first 10 years of its use, the tunnel would help to create an average of 1,475 jobs and add $157 million to the economy in that area each year, the study says. A four-county area to the west, comprising Morris, Sussex, Hunterdon and Warren, would receive only about 10 percent as much benefit, it says.

Although the aim of the project would be to increase and improve rail access between Manhattan and the west side of the Hudson, the report says Westchester County and Fairfield County would get significant benefits, including an average annual increase in personal income in both counties of $26 million. That gain would come from Midtown jobs for residents of those counties, said Richard T. Roberts, chief planner for New Jersey Transit.

"They get a proportionate share of the new jobs in New York City," Mr. Roberts said. "The real message is this is a bistate project that benefits New York in a number of ways."

Mr. Coscia said the best argument for the Hudson tunnel is what will not happen without it. "If we don't build this tunnel, we're going to eliminate the potential for growth, add to congestion and ultimately the region will suffer, not just New Jersey," he said.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

pianoman11686
July 29th, 2005, 12:48 AM
Some Say Macy's Tunnel Doesn't Go Far Enough

By PATRICK McGEEHAN

Published: July 28, 2005

The idea of another train tunnel under the Hudson River came a step closer to reality yesterday, but not without impassioned arguments against its ending at a station below Macy's flagship store in Midtown.

New Jersey Transit's board unanimously approved the proposed route of the tunnel, which would run 15 feet beneath the bed of the Hudson to Midtown from northern New Jersey. The approval was a prerequisite to seeking federal financing for the project, whose cost is estimated to be $6 billion.

Officials of the transit agency have been stumping for the plan for years, arguing that the 95-year-old tunnel it shares with Amtrak is nearing capacity and will not be able to handle the projected population growth west of the Hudson. The existing two-track tunnel ends at Pennsylvania Station, a block south of where New Jersey Transit wants to build a station as far as 100 feet below 34th Street.

Nobody who spoke at the agency's board meeting disputed the need for another tunnel, which actually would be twin tunnels, each with a single track. But several insisted that the tunnel should reach farther, to Grand Central Terminal, to deliver commuters closer to their East Side offices. They also questioned the safety of tens of thousands of riders unloading and loading on platforms several stories below ground.

"The plan is costly and inconvenient for rail passengers," said George Haikalis, chairman of the Regional Rail Working Group and a resident of Greenwich Village. He said that "constructing a deep cavern station under Macy's" would pose "significant risks to passengers."

A representative of the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers, Albert Papp Jr., assailed the plans for the West Side station and a new terminal for the Long Island Rail Road that would be built beneath Grand Central.

"We don't need two more stations in Manhattan," said Mr. Papp, who urged the directors to postpone a decision and meet with other transit agencies to develop a regional solution to transporting more commuters to and from Manhattan.

But New Jersey Transit's executive director, George D. Warrington, said he had already ruled out seeking permission from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to connect the tunnel to Grand Central, in part because it would sharply inflate the project's cost. That estimate has already increased from the original $4 billion projection, he said.

"You have to be practical and realistic about what you can do," Mr. Warrington said. "That extension adds billions of dollars to the project. We've got to bite off what we can."

He said the proposed station site also fits with the goals of New York's mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, and his deputy, Daniel L. Doctoroff, who have championed the redevelopment of the area west of Penn Station.

Mr. Warrington received the support of the Regional Plan Association, a research group that had favored having trains run through the tunnel, then loop counterclockwise through a few new rail stations spread around Midtown.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

TLOZ Link5
July 29th, 2005, 12:12 PM
Mr. Warrington received the support of the Regional Plan Association, a research group that had favored having trains run through the tunnel, then loop counterclockwise through a few new rail stations spread around Midtown.


Interesting concept, definitely good for economic development.

How will this proposed new station appear aboveground? Is it expected to be entirely subterannean?

TonyO
July 29th, 2005, 12:18 PM
New rail stations: bad idea. There has to be some way to use Grand Central or Moynihan station.

TLOZ Link5
July 29th, 2005, 12:33 PM
New rail stations: bad idea. There has to be some way to use Grand Central or Moynihan station.

I disagree on the first point and agree on the second. NJT is at the disadvantage that it only uses one terminal in Manhattan, and even then its concourse is small compared to those of LIRR or even Amtrak. This is while the New Jersey suburbs continue to boom while mature suburbs in Westchester, Connecticut and Long Island have grown much less rapidly, if at all.

A new terminal at Herald Square and the multiple subway and other transit lines there allows for a more convenient commute to the rest of Midtown for NJT customers. It's key to New York's economic future, possibly even more so than East Side Access. Perhaps there will be an eventual connection to Grand Central, but it's not a priority now.

NIMBYkiller
August 3rd, 2005, 01:58 PM
Extend NJT tracks 1-5 to the lower level of GCT. That way NJT can serve both stations with the same train.

Ninjahedge
August 3rd, 2005, 02:43 PM
George Haikalis, chairman of the Regional Rail Working Group and a resident of Greenwich Village. He said that "constructing a deep cavern station under Macy's" would pose "significant risks to passengers."


I would like to know what the "risks" are.

Also, who is to say focusing everything at the same station is a GOOD idea? Is GCS big enough to handle a significant increase?

I think they should plan for any possible extensions in the future and make the construction easily adaptable for them, but leave them out for now.

One thing though. The only thing I would say would be necessary would be a convenient connection to NYC subways. Are we talking about a 6 flight climb to the A+E?

Kris
March 18th, 2006, 08:07 AM
March 17, 2006
Regional Transit Council Puts Hudson Tunnel on List
By PATRICK McGEEHAN

A group of New York political leaders and transportation officials threw their support yesterday behind a project that would start in New Jersey — a $6 billion rail tunnel under the Hudson River.

The group, known as the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, voted to add the proposed tunnel to its list of major projects that need to be built during the next 25 years. Projects must be on the list, known as the regional transportation plan, to qualify for federal funds.

The council, whose members represent city and state agencies and five suburban New York counties, published a regional plan last year that did not include the trans-Hudson tunnel. But at its annual meeting yesterday, the council amended the plan to add the tunnel, a top priority of officials in New Jersey, over the objections of some who prefer different configurations for the project.

The vote occurred just minutes after the council's co-chairmen announced that its members had settled on some shared goals and would work in concert to identify transportation projects that would meet them. This newfound spirit of cooperation will help in obtaining more federal financing for improvements in the region, said Thomas R. Suozzi, the Nassau County executive, who completed a one-year term yesterday as a council co-chairman.

"It's important that we, as a region, try to establish a vision that will target growth" and contain suburban sprawl, said Mr. Suozzi, a Democrat who is running for governor of New York. He added that the council had recognized in the past year that "working together, we'll be much more effective than we have been working separately."

The council is responsible for tracking long-term transportation projects that will require financing from the federal government. In the past, it had no mechanism for measuring the relative benefits of big projects and prioritizing them. As a result, local officials lobbied against one another for money in Washington, pitting bridges against tunnels against subway lines.

Now, the council is developing a process for gauging a project's importance by certain criteria, including its potential benefits to the regional economy, environment and quality of life, said Thomas J. Madison Jr., commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation. Mr. Madison is a co-chairman of the council, along with Iris Weinshall, the transportation commissioner of New York City, who succeeded Mr. Suozzi yesterday.

Other members represent Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester Counties.

Mr. Madison said that the council's direction had been uncertain beyond lining up financing for two big projects: a subway under Second Avenue in Manhattan and a connection for the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal under the East River.

All told, the council has identified $70 billion in needed but unfinanced projects, including the possible replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge, Mr. Madison said. With the prospect of declining amounts of money from Washington, Gov. George E. Pataki is pushing for legislation in Albany that would allow the state to enter partnerships with private companies to build or operate highways, bridges or other public assets.

Mr. Madison said: "This is something we need to look at. Financing is going to be an incredibly important part of our discussions in the future."

On that score, adding the trans-Hudson rail tunnel — two single-track tubes — to the regional plan was painless. The plan was amended to include the tunnel, which would stretch from northern New Jersey to a terminal deep under West 34th Street in Manhattan, on the premise that its financing would come from New Jersey or Washington.

New Jersey Transit, the project's sponsor, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have pledged to find the money from state and federal sources. George D. Warrington, New Jersey Transit's executive director and a council member, said yesterday that he was "deeply grateful" for the council's action.

The approval came despite objections from some transportation advocates who argued that burying New Jersey Transit and Long Island Rail Road platforms in "deep caverns" more than 100 feet below street level, as has been proposed, would be too expensive and dangerous.

George Haikalis, who said he was the president of the Institute for Rational Urban Mobility, called for connecting the tracks through the proposed new tunnel to Pennsylvania Station and on to Grand Central Terminal. That plan would cost less, attract more commuters and save travel time, he said, but it has been rejected because it would require unprecedented cooperation among regional transportation officials.

Mr. Suozzi asked the council's staff to prepare a rebuttal to the criticism.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

TonyO
March 18th, 2006, 10:53 AM
George Haikalis, who said he was the president of the Institute for Rational Urban Mobility, called for connecting the tracks through the proposed new tunnel to Pennsylvania Station and on to Grand Central Terminal. That plan would cost less, attract more commuters and save travel time, he said, but it has been rejected because it would require unprecedented cooperation among regional transportation officials.

The obvious best result is impossible because it will take too much cooperation. NY politicians and their appointments are almost completely useless.

injcsince81
March 18th, 2006, 12:19 PM
The obvious best result is impossible because it will take too much cooperation. NY politicians and their appointments are almost completely useless.

That's why you need a Robert Moses.:)

Cooperation, shmooperation.

ablarc
March 18th, 2006, 01:25 PM
That's why you need a Robert Moses.:)

Cooperation, shmooperation.
An even better paragon might be Baron Haussmann. When he evicted folks from their premises, he made them just as unhappy as did Moses. The difference: in hindsight, there's little fault to be found in Haussmann's product (essentially today's Paris), while Moses' legacy seems something of a mixed bag. If he'd built the Lower Manhattan Expressway his reputation would likely be lower.

Haussmann's Paris turned out incredibly well. If you were inclined to argue that some ends justify the means, Haussmann's Paris could be Exhibit A.

JCMAN320
May 11th, 2006, 02:46 AM
Corzine buys the ticket for Trans-Hudson rail tunnel in 2009

Thursday, May 11, 2006
BY DUNSTAN McNICHOL
Star-Ledger Staff

Promising to help North Jersey commuters make a great escape from mounting congestion, Gov. Jon Corzine and top members of his administration said yesterday groundbreaking for construction of a railroad tunnel linking New Jersey and Manhattan will happen in 2009.

"For a lot of personal reasons, in 2009 there will be a shovel in the ground that year," said Corzine, who could be seeking re-election that year, too. "I am absolutely committed to that project, and it will happen."

Plans for the $6 billion Trans- Hudson Express (THE) tunnel dominated the annual Governor's Transportation Conference in Trenton, with top officials from New Jersey Transit, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and the state Department of Transportation laying out funding schedules and timetables for the project.

Philip K. Beachem, president of the highway contractor's lobbying group Alliance for Action, kicked off the seminar by unveiling a bi- state campaign to promote the project with the New York Building Conference.

Preliminary studies already are under way, and George Warrington, executive director of New Jersey Transit, said his agency is scheduled to hire an engineer in July to lay out the full alignment of the tunnel and its approaches through the Meadowlands, Palisades and under the Hudson River. By the end of the year, he said, the agency plans to seek a construction manager.

"We are very, very committed to delivering this project to the people of New Jersey over the next decade," he said. "It is the most important project in 100 years."

Anthony Coscia, chairman of the Port Authority, added his agency's endorsement, saying construction of the tunnel was as important to the current generation as the building of the Lincoln Tunnel and George Washington Bridges were earlier.

"I'm committed to the Port Authority making a multibillion-dollar investment into that project," he said. "That's a project that clearly people years from now will look back and say it was the turning point in creating a regional economy."

Warrington said the current two tracks under the Hudson carry a maximum of 23 trains per hour. He said the state already has taken steps to expand the existing tun nel's carrying capacity by adding cars to trains, improving signaling, and preparing to introduce double- decker cars later this year.

"We're all done squeezing; there's simply nothing left to wring out," he said. "We must build a tunnel and we must build it now."

Dunstan McNichol covers state government issues. He may be reached at dmcnichol@starled ger.com or (609) 989-0341.

tmg
May 11th, 2006, 02:48 PM
With Corzine and Spitzer both on the same page about this project, the prospects for it look good. And that's good news, because this is one of the most important projects for the future of New York City.

Over the next 35 years, the U.S. population is expected to grow by about 93 million. How many of them live and work in the New York metro region depend on our ability to build enough infrastructure capacity to move them around. This project will play a major role in ensuring that the region's historic radial commuting patterns remain viable.

Dagrecco82
May 11th, 2006, 03:11 PM
I know this is off topic but will we ever seen a new tunnel like the Lincoln or Holland? The traffic in these tunnels at time is unbearable!

tmg
May 11th, 2006, 05:55 PM
No. There isn't enough street capacity to absorb more traffic volume. If you build a new tunnel, there would be gridlock in the city.

lofter1
May 11th, 2006, 06:28 PM
What is clearly needed is a tunnel that takes auto traffic directly from NJ > Brooklyn / Queens, bypassing Manhattan altogether.

This should be one of the major 21st Century projects for the metro area.

ablarc
May 11th, 2006, 07:56 PM
From http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2959&page=12:


How about the Under-Manhattan Expressway? New Jersey to Queens with no Manhattan access or exits. Shorter than many tunnels in the Alps.

God Bless you if you can make THIS happen

What is clearly needed is a tunnel that takes auto traffic directly from NJ > Brooklyn / Queens, bypassing Manhattan altogether.
This should be one of the major 21st Century projects for the metro area.
Lol, and God bless you too, lofter1. Good to have you in the Pie-in-the-Sky Society.

I guess we're both charter members. ;)

.

billyblancoNYC
May 12th, 2006, 11:41 AM
What is clearly needed is a tunnel that takes auto traffic directly from NJ > Brooklyn / Queens, bypassing Manhattan altogether.

This should be one of the major 21st Century projects for the metro area.

And from LI for CT.

Ninjahedge
May 12th, 2006, 11:50 AM
LI would not want that.

Why would North Fork want to have people able to get to them directly from CT in 30 minutes?

They like their isolation (Although I too agree that access would be nice).

BigMac
May 15th, 2006, 01:03 PM
AM New York
May 15, 2006

Senators push for new tunnel between NJ and NYC

The Associated Press

Two U.S. senators are joining the governor of New Jersey to push for a new tunnel under the Hudson River to increase train traffic into Manhattan.

U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer of New York and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey were to hold a news conference Monday at Penn Station to ask that federal approval be sped up for the first stage of engineering on the proposed Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel.

The $6 billion "THE Tunnel" would be used for additional trains from New Jersey into Manhattan.

New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine last week said nearly $500 million would be used for the tunnel, which advocates say would double rail capacity between two states over the next two decades.

Also this month, the U.S. senators from the two states wrote to U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta urging financial backing for the project.

As proposed, the tunnel would begin in North Bergen and continue under Union City and Weehawken, extending to a new station under 34th Street in Manhattan between Sixth and Eighth avenues.

Copyright 2006 AM New York

TonyO
May 16th, 2006, 12:04 PM
NY1

Senators Push For New Rail Tunnel Under Hudson River

May 16, 2006

Senators from both New York and New Jersey are pushing for a big investment in a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River.

Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey are calling for the federal government to speed up the approval process, allowing for the $6 billion project.

"Our region is growing, Thank God, but we are bursting at the seams,” said Schumer. “We need new transportation. ARC, the tunnel under the Hudson will open the floodgates so that millions more workers and visitors can come to midtown and Manhattan."

The tunnel would run between North Bergen, New Jersey and Penn Station.

If federal funding comes through, tunnel construction could begin as soon as 2009.

-------------------------------------

Bad reporting or something new? I always thought that with the construction of Moynihan Station, the refurbishing and opening up of Penn (w/ relocation of MSG) why have a completely new station?

ablarc
May 16th, 2006, 02:32 PM
If federal funding comes through, tunnel construction could begin as soon as 2009.
"as soon as"?

.

eldondre
June 10th, 2006, 04:04 PM
so while it woudl take $3 bn to get the whole corridor up to speed, nj will get a $7bn tunnel all its own. nice.

pianoman11686
July 19th, 2006, 09:33 AM
New Hudson Rail Tunnel Is Nearing Federal Approval

By RONALD SMOTHERS

Published: July 19, 2006

NEWARK, July 18 — New Jersey Transit is expected to get authorization this week from federal transit officials to begin preliminary engineering work on constructing a second two-track train tunnel under the Hudson River into Manhattan.

The anticipated federal approval was called a “significant milestone” on Tuesday by Gov. Jon S. Corzine and transit advocacy groups in the 15-year effort to build support for the estimated $6 billion project.

The second tunnel would allow for a significant increase in the number of Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains entering and leaving New York. The current tunnel can accommodate only 19 trains an hour at peak times and remains the choke point in the system.

Governor Corzine, who as a United States senator from New Jersey pushed for the crucial language in an appropriation bill that indicated the project enjoyed strong regional support, called the expected authorization “further confirmation that we are moving this along.”

“I have a goal of putting a shovel in the ground on this project by 2009,” he said in an interview. “Then I will feel that I have done something as a U.S. senator.”

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, who over the years had sponsored appropriation bills that have funneled $22 million to New Jersey in federal planning money for the project, said he was eagerly anticipating the authorization. He added, jokingly, that “you know this will connect the Frank R. Lautenberg Station in Secaucus with the planned Daniel P. Moynihan Station in Manhattan.”

The new tunnel would go to the proposed Moynihan station and the basement at Macy’s in Manhattan.

Senator Robert Menendez, who replaced Mr. Corzine in Washington, said the project would add 44,000 jobs and $10 billion to the economy.

Paul Griffo, a spokesman for the Federal Transit Administration, said the agency would notify Congress this week of its decision to allow planning to continue. The next step in receiving full federal financing for the project is the final design.

“All of these hurdles must be cleared to get to the holy grail of a full funding grant agreement,” said Mr. Griffo, adding that the process takes from 6 to 12 years. The federal government’s contribution would be limited to 80 percent of the project’s cost. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has agreed to pay $2 billion for the project. The rest could come from New Jersey. Mr. Griffo said the transit agency is eligible for federal grants.

The idea of a second train tunnel between Manhattan and New Jersey has been talked about since the early 1990’s as a way of easing traffic jams on the roads and expanding economic opportunities for the two states. The need for the second tunnel became more pronounced after service began on the Morris-Essex Line in 1996, followed by the Montclair-Boonton Line in 2002.

For much of that time New York officials had been cool to the idea, seeing it mostly as a project that aided only New Jersey and competed with New York projects seeking federal financing. But in recent years, according to Thomas Wright, executive vice president of the Regional Plan Association, New York officials have come to view it as fitting in with the redevelopment of the Far West Side of Manhattan, and as a necessary backup to the current tunnel since 9/11.

“Had New York opposed the tunnel, it would have been easy for the federal government to turn it down,” Mr. Wright said. “But we have studies showing that between 1980 and 2000, 89 percent of new commuters into the city came from west of the Hudson, and this is the group from which an expanded Manhattan business district will be drawing.”

Jon Orcutt, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a nonprofit mass transit advocacy group, said that the only problem on the horizon for New Jersey was whether it would have enough revenue coming into its Transportation Trust Fund to finance the state’s part of the cost over the next five to six years.

Governor Corzine said the state was prepared to put $500 million into the project over the next five to six years. Thereafter, the state plans to replenish the trust fund, he said, for what he termed would be an “extraordinary centerpiece of an effective and efficient mass transit system for the region.”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

pianoman11686
July 26th, 2006, 11:56 PM
Port Authority Set to Vote On Hudson Tunnel Fund

By PATRICK McGEEHAN

Published: July 27, 2006

After years of talking up the need for a second commuter-rail tunnel under the Hudson River, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is ready to make a hefty down payment on a $7.2 billion project.

Port Authority commissioners are scheduled to vote today to authorize spending up to $2 billion on the project, which would include a two-tube tunnel connecting Manhattan and New Jersey and a terminal under 34th Street at the foot of Macy’s flagship store.

Anthony R. Coscia, the chairman of the Port Authority, has said the trans-Hudson tunnel should be the region’s top transportation priority because it would increase capacity on the overcrowded commute to New York City from the fast-growing western suburbs. Until now, the Port Authority has only talked about helping to pay for it without making a firm commitment.

The financial move is critical, the project’s supporters say, because it will allow them to seek billions more from the federal government, having shown a substantial level of local support.

Mr. Coscia said the board would vote on authorizing at least $1 billion for the tunnel, with the intention of including up to $1 billion more in the 10-year capital plan that the Port Authority will adopt later this year. The project, whose main sponsor is New Jersey Transit, the state-run commuter train and bus network, is scheduled to begin construction in 2009 and to be completed by 2016. Its cost is estimated at $7.2 billion, adjusted for inflation over the next 10 years, said George Warrington, the executive director of New Jersey Transit.

“This is clearly a substantial and huge down payment, which allows us to signal to the federal government that up front and well in advance of construction we have already amassed significant financial commitments,” Mr. Warrington said. He said that it was too soon to determine what parts of the project the Port Authority would pay for.

Jon S. Corzine, the governor of New Jersey, has already pledged $500 million for the tunnel from the state’s Transportation Trust Fund. Like Mr. Coscia, Mr. Corzine has been a vocal backer of the trans-Hudson tunnel, first in Washington as a senator and now in Trenton.

The New Jersey officials consider the tunnel a sure thing, but even with a financial commitment from the Port Authority, the project could encounter obstacles. It is one of several multi-billion-dollar transportation projects on the drawing boards, including a subway line on Second Avenue, and it will eventually have to compete with some or all of them for federal money.

Not even all the officials of the Port Authority are in agreement that the Hudson tunnel should be first in line for the agency’s money. The vice chairman, Charles Gargano, an appointee of Gov. George E. Pataki of New York, still favors a rail link between Lower Manhattan and the Long Island Rail Road and Kennedy International Airport.

Mr. Gargano said the Hudson tunnel should be one of the Port Authority’s priorities but “not the No. 1.” He added the caution that this was “the beginning of a very long process” and “many things have to happen” before either project can be built.

Mr. Gargano pointed to an impending vote in Congress to authorize the conversion of $1.75 billion in tax credits for use in building the rail link to Kennedy. If the House and Senate approve that conversion soon, he said, “That is certainly a positive for that project.”

Nonetheless, Mr. Coscia said a big commitment to the Hudson tunnel would demonstrate a new spirit of collaboration between the competing interests on the Port Authority board. He said it was time to make decisions based on the potential benefits to the entire region rather than as a division of assets between the two states.

“There seems to be a willingness, clearly, at the Port Authority and among those who control it,” he said, “to allow the Port Authority to resume its historical role of planning major infrastructure projects and not focus on a quid pro quo between the two states of pet projects.”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Kris
July 28th, 2006, 01:37 PM
July 28, 2006
Manhattan: $2 Billion for Hudson Tunnel
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey yesterday authorized the spending of $2 billion toward a proposed $6 billion commuter train tunnel under the Hudson River. The financing approval is a significant step for the proposed two-track tunnel, a project that would double commuter rail capacity between the two states in a decade. Construction could begin as soon as 2009 and be complete by 2016. Adjusting for inflation over the next decade, the project is expected to cost $7.2 billion at completion, said George D. Warrington, executive director of New Jersey Transit, the project’s sponsor.

JCMAN320
August 1st, 2006, 03:19 PM
Hudson River tunnel moves forward

NJ Transit is moving forward with its plan to build a second trans-Hudson River rail tunnel stretching from Secaucus to a new station deep below Midtown Manhattan.

The NJ Transit board of directors today approved an $82.5 million contract to begin engineering on a tunnel that will double commuter rail capacity between New Jersey and New York.

The approval comes less than two weeks after the Federal Transit Administration notified Congress that it will formally approve preliminary engineering of the project, following a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis and funding review.

And last week, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey committed up to $2 billion to fund construction, or roughly one-third of the $6 billion pricetag.

Bonnie Friedman

Bob
August 1st, 2006, 05:47 PM
This is good news. And believe it or not, this comes from someone who thinks we also need to triple our interstate highway capacity. Both modes of travel are worthy of investment.

pianoman11686
August 13th, 2006, 01:05 AM
Plan for New Rail Tunnel Takes Turn Toward Reality

By JONATHAN MILLER

Published: August 13, 2006

SECAUCUS, N.J., Aug. 11 — It was just a few years ago that New Jersey Transit’s executive director would try to explain — to anyone who would listen — the wonders of building another commuter train tunnel under the Hudson River. And every time, he would see eyes glaze over.

“People would say, ‘Great idea,’ ” George D. Warrington, the executive director, said in a recent interview. “ ‘Maybe my grandchildren will see it.’ ”

But a series of events in the last few weeks have made it more likely that it will not just be grandchildren, but their grandparents, too, who will see the completion of what is being called the Trans-Hudson Express tunnel, which would link New Jersey with Midtown.

The 9.3-mile project would cost an estimated $7.2 billion, create as many as 44,000 jobs and more than double the number of trains that cross the Hudson River during rush hour. Gov. Jon S. Corzine of New Jersey says the second rail tunnel, with its target completion date of 2016, is “vital to the state’s economic future.”

The first action to brighten the project’s prospects came last month when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey committed up to $2 billion toward the tunnel’s completion — a move that would have been considered highly unlikely several years ago.

Weeks earlier, the Federal Transit Administration authorized $82.5 million to conduct preliminary engineering. And two weeks ago, the New Jersey Transit board approved preliminary work on the reconstruction of an aging bridge in the Meadowlands that is vital to the tunnel project.

In a potential side benefit to New York residents, said one high-ranking Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official who declined to be identified, the authority has begun talking about help to finance a project in New York that would link Grand Central Terminal to the Long Island Rail Road.

All of which, leaders in both states say, means the project has reached a turning point.

“The big hurdles will be technical — like tunneling — rather than political,” said Jon Orcutt, the executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, an advocacy group. When asked, on a scale of one to 10 (10 being the highest) whether he thought the tunnel would become a reality, he said, “I think we’re around 7 or 8.”

Just how the tunnel project was rescued from the scrapheap of grand ideas is a decade-long tale of cross-state rivals laying down their swords and embracing the realities of regional economics, and of a Democrat-controlled state convincing a Republican-dominated Congress of the economic necessity of the costly project.

For the last 96 years, one two-track tunnel has run under the Hudson River into Pennsylvania Station in New York, and now carries 40,000 commuters a day. During peak travel hours there are about 23 trains, including Amtrak, coming and going through the tunnel, and a second tunnel — that would end 100 feet below 34th Street below the basement of Macy’s flagship store — would bring that number to 48. The project would create a loop south of Secaucus Junction, giving riders on the Bergen, Main and Pascack Valley Lines a direct ride into Manhattan without having to switch trains in Secaucus or Hoboken.

The plan’s most forceful advocate has been Mr. Warrington, a former president and chief executive of Amtrak, who was appointed to run New Jersey Transit in 2002. Almost immediately after taking the job, he began trying to resurrect the notion of a second tunnel, taking over the stalled initiative that had been started by the Port Authority.

Along the way, he persuaded the Port Authority’s chairman, Anthony Coscia, to get behind the project.

Together they began proselytizing among politicians, real estate developers and business leaders in New York, contending that the entire region and not just New Jersey would profit from building a second tunnel.

It was hard finding believers.

Kathryn Wylde, president and chief executive of the Partnership for New York City, an advocacy group for New York businesses, says this is the first project since the 1962 agreement to build the World Trade Center in which New York and New Jersey seem to have come together. There had been tension between the two states over New Jersey trying to lure businesses across the river.

“It reverses a generation in which we were accusing New Jersey of piracy,” Ms. Wylde said in a recent interview, “but it represents the reality of post-9/11 New York, that we are trying to keep businesses in the region.”

In addition, both New York senators, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles E. Schumer, have endorsed the project, as has Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

The solidarity was crucial in persuading federal authorities to take the project seriously.

For Mr. Coscia, the project returns the agency to its roots and a mission that he said “we have sometimes not lived up to.”

“If our mission is to move people between two states,” he said, “adding another lane to the Lincoln Tunnel won’t do it.”

He and others point to studies that suggest the greatest growth in the area will come west of the Hudson. “An increasing proportion of our workforce can only afford to own a home in New Jersey, and have basically relocated there,’’ Ms. Wylde said. “Twenty-five, thirty years ago the safety valve was Long Island, twenty years ago it was Rockland and Orange. Last decade, it’s been New Jersey and even Pennsylvania.”

Governor Corzine is perhaps one of the project’s highest-profile advocates. As a United States senator in 2005, he took what most observers say was a crucial step when he helped insert language into a transportation bill stipulating that the secretary of transportation “shall give strong consideration to the project for a full funding grant agreement.”

And as governor, Mr. Corzine has promised that New Jersey will commit at least $500 million to the project. Some New York officials, once hostile to the tunnel project, now laud it, and, transportation officials say behind the scenes, are using it to exert pressure to deliver projects that are perceived as more beneficial to the city and state.

In a speech before the Regional Plan Association in May, Eliot Spitzer, the attorney general who is running as a Democrat for governor of New York, strongly hinted that several projects in New York should be worthy of Port Authority money, including the Second Avenue Subway line and a link from the Long Island Railroad to Grand Central Terminal.

For now, it seems like the Port Authority is willing to go along. When asked about the worthiness of such projects, Mr. Coscia agreed that the $6.3 billion Long Island Rail Road project, called East Side Access, was worthy of financing.

“I think East Side Access is a very strong project, and I can see the Port Authority consider participating in it,” he said. “If you look at East Side Access and the tunnel, it’s two sides of the coin. They’re literally different pieces of the same project.”

Another Port Authority official agreed with Mr. Coscia, but scoffed at another favored project of New York politicians, a link to Kennedy Airport from Lower Manhattan, calling it “ridiculous.”

As for the tunnel project, finding the $5 billion or so needed to complete the project remains the primary obstacle.

While the federal government could finance about 60 percent of the project, New Jersey’s financial difficulties have been well-documented, and the state’s Transportation Trust Fund, the pot of money that goes toward highway repairs and that narrowly averted bankruptcy this year, will need a more permanent fix down the line.

In addition, it is unlikely that the Port Authority will spend its $2 billion without getting any return on such an investment. Mr. Warrington said that he has suggested a financial arrangement in which the Port Authority could share revenue with New Jersey Transit from commercial and retail development at the proposed Moynihan Station at 34th Street, which New Jersey Transit would control.

“This is a conceptual offer that we’ve made,” he said, “and it’s more than reasonable to allow the Port Authority to participate in any of those commercial opportunities.”

Transit advocates warn that with so many big-ticket items planned, a fare or toll increase may be necessary for Port Authority-owned properties, although agency officials say the $2 billion committed thus far to the tunnel project is within the agency’s resources.

For now, optimism remains high, but Mr. Corzine warned against assuming the deal is sealed. “The die is not cast yet,” he said. “We’ve made real progress. New Jersey is putting its dough down and you see what the Port Authority’s doing. We still have hurdles to overcome and we will continue to make the case very strongly that this is a project of crucial regional and national significance.”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

TriHobo
October 19th, 2006, 03:23 PM
PORT AUTHORITY TO BEGIN ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY FOR TRANS-HUDSON EXPRESS TUNNEL
Date: October 19, 2006
Press Release Number: 82-2006


After authorizing the largest contribution to date toward the Trans-Hudson Express (THE) Tunnel of up to $2 billion in July, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners today authorized the commencement of identifying and eventually acquiring property in New York City for the project’s construction.

The THE Tunnel will be an additional passenger rail tunnel connecting New York City to New Jersey and to Rockland and Orange counties in New York.
The project includes the expansion of New York’s Penn Station beneath 34th Street in Manhattan. The Board’s action makes up to $75 million available for property acquisition as part of the Port Authority’s overall commitment to the THE Tunnel project. In July, the Port Authority allocated $10 million for the project’s preliminary planning and engineering activities.

“Today’s action demonstrates the Port Authority is again delivering on its commitment to ensure that THE Tunnel becomes a reality,” said Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia. “We believe this project will be our generation’s George Washington Bridge, increasing mobility and spurring economic growth throughout the region, and we are making another down-payment on the project.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The need for this project is unquestioned and the Port Authority recognized its significance long ago.

Among its innumerable other benefits, THE Tunnel will facilitate development along West Midtown and provide, for the first time, a one-seat ride from Rockland and Orange counties to New York City.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “Over the next ten years we expect to see the 240,000 commuters currently crossing the Hudson every day grow at a dramatic rate. THE Tunnel project is one of the key solutions to ensuring our transportation network meets the demands of a growing region.”

The $75 million for property acquisition is the second allocation from the up to $2 billion the Port Authority has committed to the project. The Port Authority allocated $10 million in July for preliminary planning and engineering activities.

The bistate agency’s ten-year strategic plan, adopted in December 2005, recognized THE Tunnel as crucial to regional prosperity. Today’s action by the Board is consistent with the strategic plan’s goals and the agency’s long-standing commitment toward THE Tunnel and related mass transportation projects. Prior actions include $250 million for multilevel rail cars for NJ Transit; $150 million for NJ Transit's Meadowlands Rail Spur; $145 million for leasing space at the new Moynihan Station; $20 million for NJ Transit and Empire State Development Corporation near-term capacity improvements to Penn Station New York; and $5.5 million as a cosponsor of THE Tunnel Major Investment Study.

In July, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) advanced the THE Tunnel to the preliminary engineering phase of the federal “new starts” process – a significant step in acquiring future federal funding.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.

The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.

ablarc
October 22nd, 2006, 01:07 PM
^ Fixin' to get ready to get started.

urbanaturalist
October 25th, 2006, 12:02 PM
Can they make that tunnel capable of upgrading to Maglev technology when the time comes. Would be good for future rail technology.

TonyO
November 3rd, 2006, 10:31 AM
The THE Tunnel will be an additional passenger rail tunnel connecting New York City to New Jersey and to Rockland and Orange counties in New York.

How do they figure this? I lived in Orange county, NY a while back and it was necessary to take a commuter train into Hoboken and transfer there to Penn. Does this mean that this new tunnel will have direct connection for this route?

JCMAN320
November 3rd, 2006, 03:04 PM
In a word yes.

JCMAN320
December 14th, 2006, 03:10 AM
NJ TRANSIT HIRES CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT FIRM FOR TUNNEL PROJECT
Consortium will play critical role during design of Access to the Region’s Core program

December 13, 2006
NJT-06-153
Contact: Penny Bassett Hackett or Dan Stessel 973 491-7078

NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT today took another significant step in advancing the region’s most important public transportation project in decades by hiring THE CM Consortium of Newark to provide construction management services for its new trans-Hudson tunnel, and related station, track and yard projects.

“This is another major step forward for a project that will reap huge dividends for the regional economy,” said NJ TRANSIT Chairman and Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri. “Mobility is key to continued economic growth, and only a new tunnel will double our capacity to accommodate increasing numbers of rail customers traveling between New Jersey and New York.’’

The decision to hire a construction manager at this early stage of project development, during the preliminary engineering phase, underscores NJ TRANSIT’s commitment to ensure creation of a practical design that will be built on time and within budget.

“Bringing a construction management firm on now reduces the risk of encountering unanticipated problems down the road,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington. “The consortium will work to make sure that the design is practical to build, which helps ensure that this once-in-a-generation project will be delivered on time and on budget.”

THE CM Consortium, a tri-venture of Tishman Construction, Parsons and ARUP, along with supporting firms, brings extensive worldwide experience in managing other large railroad construction and tunnel projects, including The Channel Tunnel Rail Link in Great Britain; the MTA Red Line project in Los Angeles; the Washington, D.C. Metro system; the Dulles Airport and Rail System Improvements; the AirTrain and Jamaica Station; and the only two major Tunnel Boring Machine projects in New York City – the New York City Water Tunnel #3 and the Con Edison 1st Avenue Tunnel and Steam Mains.

“The consortium firms are experts in real-world urban construction techniques, and their guidance will be extremely valuable as the design develops and as construction methods for each segment of the project are selected,” said Rich Sarles, NJ TRANSIT Assistant Executive Director for Capital Projects and Programs.

In addition to providing design oversight, the construction manager will make independent cost estimates to validate those made by the engineering team; develop a master project schedule for the engineering, permitting and construction phases; create a quality control plan; and coordinate outreach programs to ensure opportunities for participation of women- and minority-owned businesses in both New Jersey and New York.

The NJ TRANSIT Board awarded THE CM Consortium a contract of $5 million for this initial engineering phase following a competitive procurement process.

The Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) program includes two new single-track railroad tunnels between New Jersey and New York, a new rail station under 34th Street in Manhattan adjacent to Penn Station, and signal and track improvements along and adjacent to the Northeast Corridor.

The project will allow for the introduction of one-seat rail service on the Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley and Raritan Valley lines, the Montclair-Boonton Line west of Montclair, North Jersey Coast Line south to Bay Head, as well as the Morristown Line west of Dover. It will also create the capacity to connect the future Northern Branch Rail Line directly to Manhattan.

The proposed new multilevel station under 34th Street will provide underground connections to New York City subway lines (6th, 7th, 8th and Broadway) and PATH trains, as well as provide pedestrian connections to New York Penn Station. The project is projected to cost $7.2 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars. Construction is expected to start in 2009.

JCMAN320
January 17th, 2007, 09:53 PM
Topic: Kearny-Secaucus rail bridge

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Federal Railroad Administration, Amtrak and NJ Transit will hold a public meeting today from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Newark Public Library, Centennial Hall, 2nd Floor, 5 Washington St., Newark.

The environmental, economic and social impacts of the proposed Portal Bridge Capacity Enhancement Project will be discussed. The bridge spans the Hackensack River between Kearny and Secaucus and is an important link in the Northeast Corridor System.

Members of the public can register to speak and a brief presentation will be given from 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.

For more information, call (917) 339-9488 for information or visit www.portalbridgenec.com.

COTTON DELO

JCMAN320
January 20th, 2007, 12:32 AM
Feds approve next step for Trans-Hudson tunnel

1/19/2007, 7:25 p.m. ET
By JANET FRANKSTON LORIN
The Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A plan to build a $7 billion rail tunnel between New York and New Jersey has cleared a regulatory hurdle, with federal officials giving initial approval to the project's effects on the environment.

The two-track tunnel, a massive project discussed for more than a decade, would double commuter rail capacity between the two states. Construction could begin as soon as 2009 and be complete by 2015.

"This is a critical step toward getting a shovel in the ground in 2009," said New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine. "This project is important not only for transit capacity and continued economic growth, but it will provide crucial redundancy that will enhance rail security."

The Federal Transit Administration approved the draft environmental impact statement on Thursday and notified New Jersey on Friday afternoon, said Kris Kolluri, New Jersey's transportation commissioner. That step moves the project closer to receiving approval for construction money.

"It's a major milestone," he said. "It's a significant recognition by the federal government that this is an important project for the region and for the country."

The approval allows the two states to begin scheduling public hearings. The next step would be final approval of the environmental impact statement.

After a federal decision expected next year, the states would be able to begin negotiating how much cash the federal government would kick in.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has already committed up to $2 billion for the project; New Jersey has kicked in an additional $500 million.

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said the project provides regional benefits and is "one of the key bi-state initiatives that I support."

New Jersey officials hope the federal government will pay half of the cost.

The project already has some heavy hitters behind it, most notably the four U.S. senators from the two states, and their two governors.

"It will add needed capacity for commuters, reduce the congestion on our highways and improve our environment," said U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.

The new tunnel would double to four tracks the routes between the states, giving NJ Transit flexibility when Amtrak trains slow traffic. Amtrak owns, operates and maintains the Northeast Corridor line into Penn Station, so its trains are given priority over the local transit agency.

In addition to getting people in and out of Manhattan quickly, it would give commuters in New York's Rockland and Orange counties a direct route into New York without transferring.

NIMBYkiller
January 20th, 2007, 01:47 PM
I hope they atleast gave a thought to other possibilities, like extending to downtown. For the money being spent on a new tunnel and an entire new lower level at Penn Station, I think they might as well go to new territory. Branch off east of Newark, run under Jersey City, and then to downtown.

Bob
January 22nd, 2007, 08:04 PM
What's up with that "environmental impact" stuff? They're planning a tunnel. What could possibly be the impact of removing dirt from dirt? Maybe the dirt and rocks are too dirty?

Seriously, what gives? We built the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, and quite a few rail tunnels around NYC, all without an EIS. Life went on.

ablarc
January 22nd, 2007, 08:08 PM
Gotta keep the report-writers employed.

Jake
January 22nd, 2007, 09:30 PM
Where is the dirt going?
What underground waterways will be cut off?
By what means will the tunnel be ventilated?
What is the impact of entrance and exit construction?

I don't know if you realize this but the ventilation towers in tunnels carry concentrated carcinogenic fumes that can't be near an inhabited area. They also release these toxins in a small area, making their impact larger. A lot of sediment is also kicked up during construction impacting water quality.

All of the NYC tunnels were designed long before World War II, so I don't think "the environment" was even a field of study back then.

tmg
January 24th, 2007, 10:50 PM
The project will also have regional impacts on development and travel patterns. For example, it will help the Midtown CBD continue to grow.

If the project doesn't have large regional impacts, then why build it at all?

Since 1970, all government decisions that have an impact on the natural or human environment -- broadly defined -- must assess the impacts and provide an opportunity for public input before they move forward. Yes, these reports are expensive and time-consuming, but they are also ensure that the public is informed of the scope and impacts of major policy decisions before it is too late. It is the price of democracy.

To read further...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Environmental_Policy_Act

TonyO
January 25th, 2007, 08:48 AM
The project will also have regional impacts on development and travel patterns. For example, it will help the Midtown CBD continue to grow.

If the project doesn't have large regional impacts, then why build it at all?

Since 1970, all government decisions that have an impact on the natural or human environment -- broadly defined -- must assess the impacts and provide an opportunity for public input before they move forward. Yes, these reports are expensive and time-consuming, but they are also ensure that the public is informed of the scope and impacts of major policy decisions before it is too late. It is the price of democracy.

To read further...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Environmental_Policy_Act

Are you saying that the tunnel is not a good idea?

kliq6
January 25th, 2007, 09:03 AM
no need to debate if its worth building, contract has been signed by joint venture that will build it

TonyO
March 1st, 2007, 01:22 PM
Feds to give $16M for Hudson tunnel

Thursday, March 1, 2007
AP

NEWARK -- The federal government will fund an initial $16 million in preliminary engineering costs for a $7.5 billion tunnel that would connect New York and New Jersey under the Hudson River, New Jersey's two U.S. senators announced Wednesday.

The two-track tunnel, a massive project discussed for more than a decade, would double commuter rail capacity between the two states. Construction could begin as soon as 2009 and be complete by 2016.

The funding share among the states, the federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has yet to be determined. In general, new mass-transit projects receive about 50 percent in federal matching funds, said Dan Stessel, a spokesman for New Jersey Transit.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has already committed up to $2 billion for the project; New Jersey has kicked in an additional $500 million.

The public will have a chance to comment on the project at a series of public hearings on March 13 in Newark, March 14 in North Bergen and March 27 in New York.

JCMAN320
March 7th, 2007, 04:16 AM
NJ TRANSIT ANNOUNCES HEARINGS ON ACCESS TO THE REGION’S CORE STUDY
Public invited to comment on Draft Environmental Impact Statement

March 5, 2007
NJT-07-018
Contact: Penny Bassett Hackett or Dan Stessel 973 491-7078

NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT will conduct the first of several public hearing and information sessions Tuesday, March 13, to give the public an opportunity to learn about the findings of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) study—which features a new trans-Hudson tunnel as its centerpiece—as well as ask questions and offer comments.

Information regarding the ARC DEIS, and accompanying documents, is available on the project website: www.accesstotheregionscore.com.

The hearings will be conducted in an open house format and will include informational displays and presentations. Members of the public may register in advance to speak at the hearings by calling (877) ARC-0999.

To ensure an inclusive public comment process, NJ TRANSIT has scheduled three public hearings—each with a daytime and evening session—as well as two information sessions at locations in New Jersey and New York from March 13 through March 27.


Public hearing schedule

Public hearings will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. as follows:

Tuesday, March 13 - North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, One Newark Center (17th Floor), Raymond Boulevard, Newark, NJ

Wednesday, March 14 - Schuetzen Park (Main Ballroom), 3167 Kennedy Boulevard, North Bergen, NJ

Tuesday, March 27 - Fashion Institute of Technology (Great Hall), 27th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, Manhattan, NY


Additional information sessions

In addition to the scheduled public hearings, NJ TRANSIT will hold two “informational sessions” in Rockland and Orange counties, New York, to receive comment from members of the public who are unable to attend one of the three public hearings. As a practical matter, public hearings and information sessions will be conducted in a similar manner, except that only private testimony will be accepted at the information sessions.

NJ TRANSIT informational sessions will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. as follows:

Tuesday, March 20 - Palisades Center Mall (4th Floor Community Room), 1000 Palisades Center Drive, West Nyack, NY

Thursday, March 22 - Orange County Government Center (Legislative Chambers), 255 Main Street, Goshen, NY

Members of the public also may submit comments concerning ARC DEIS findings through April 10, 2007 via email to deis@accesstotheregionscore.com or via standard mail delivery to: Tom Schulze, NJ TRANSIT ARC Project Director, One Penn Plaza East, 4th Floor, Newark, NJ 07105.


About Access to the Region’s Core

The Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) program includes two new single-track railroad tunnels between New Jersey and New York, additional station capacity under 34th Street in Manhattan, and signal and track improvements along and adjacent to the Northeast Corridor.

The project will allow for the introduction of “one-seat” rail service to New York on the Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley and Raritan Valley lines, the Montclair-Boonton Line west of Montclair, North Jersey Coast Line south to Bay Head, as well as the Morristown Line west of Dover. It will also create the capacity for future rail extensions.

The project includes expanded station capacity north of New York Penn Station under 34th Street, with underground connections to several New York City subway lines (A, B, C, D, E, F, N, Q, R, V, W, 1, 2, 3) and PATH trains.


About the DEIS

The Access to the Region’s Core Draft Environmental Impact Statement builds on findings of a Major Investment Study (MIS) conducted by NJ TRANSIT, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Completed in April 2003, the MIS identified and evaluated alternatives to provide additional trans-Hudson passenger access.

The findings of the MIS serve as the foundation for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 that ensures a full and open evaluation of environmental issues and alternatives for major transportation projects applying for federal funding. The DEIS compiles an assessment of the proposed project’s effects on social, economic and environmental conditions.

The ARC DEIS is sponsored by NJ TRANSIT in partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

JCMAN320
March 15th, 2007, 10:39 AM
New train tunnel to NYC? Most can dig idea

Thursday, March 15, 2007
By ALI WINSTON
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

NORTH BERGEN - A small but supportive crowd turned out yesterday for an afternoon hearing at Scheutzen Park for a massive $6.3 billion commuter rail project that includes a new tunnel under the Hudson River, a new train station at 34th street in New York City, and a new rail yard in Kearny.

Held the day after another hearing in Newark - a final one is scheduled for Tuesday in New York - the hearing gave residents an opportunity to voice their opinions about a public works project that proponents say would be a boon to commuters, local infrastructure, and the environment.

The goal of the NJ Transit project - the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel - is to increase ridership by adding two tracks that would run to a new station at 34th Street between Sixth and Eighth avenues in Manhattan.

In addition, modifications to the Frank R. Lautenberg Secaucus Junction Station would allow NJ Transit riders on the North Jersey Coast, Montclair-Boonton, Raritan Valley, Pascack Valley, and the Main and Bergen County lines to travel directly to New York City.

"It's a terrific idea, I hope the project goes ahead," said Steve Hirschman, of Teaneck, who attended yesterday's hearing.

A regular rider on the Pascack Valley line, Hirschman complained about the extra 15 minutes added to his commute because of the transfer in Secaucus and of train delays caused by congestion in the existing tunnel.

"It's a win-win situation," he said.

The project, slated to begin in 2009 with service beginning in 2016, has been lauded by politicians, environmentalists, and unions.

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, for whom the Secaucus station is named, and Rep. Albio Sires, D-West New York, both testified in support at Tuesday's hearing in Newark. The Sierra Club, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, and the Hudson County Building and Construction Trades Council have all spoken in favor of the project.

The project has received $2.5 billion in funding from the state and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and would increase peak morning service to Manhattan from 23 to 48 trains per hour, according to the environmental impact report.

NIMBYkiller
March 15th, 2007, 11:21 AM
Yeah, that modification is a huge loop that will have trains running through the station twice and render the BRAND NEW transfer station completely useless

JCMAN320
March 15th, 2007, 11:43 AM
I wonder what will become of the station? I know JC wants to extend the lightrail over the 6th St. Embankment and through the Bergen Arches to Secaucus Junction it goes. I hope that doesn't affect the route.

NIMBYkiller
March 15th, 2007, 08:01 PM
I still think that the loop is a foolish waste of money. The tunnels and new lower level not so much, because perhaps now with NJT using the new tunnels and new lower level, there can be a boost in Amtrak as well as NJT service, possibly even Metro North from the Hudson Line.

However, I'd rather see all the efforts and money(including that being used for the tunnel/new lower level) being used to send trains to downtown. It would line up perfectly with the West of Hudson lines(Pascack Valley, Bergen, Main, Port Jervis), and would be easily accesible by all the other lines currently running to Hoboken.

It'd be 3 terminals(which is essentially what this project is doing), but in 3 different places, versus 3 terminals in 2 places. This line would actually run via the Bergen Arches

As far as HBLR is concerned, I believe that was ONE of multiple proposals. I think most of the future work is at the southern end of the line in Bayonne. I personally would like to see the line run across the bay to Newark. I don't see much of a use for a line from Secaucus since you can already bet from Secaucus to Hoboken. Also, if you're destination is Jersey City, you transfer in Hoboken or Newark to PATH(or also HBLR in Hoboken).

I guess my reasoning against HBLR via the Bergen Arches is becuase I think the better use would be another commuter rail line, this one to downtown with a stop in Jersey City. Over the years, they've tried to shove all the trains from multiple waterfront terminals into just 2(Hoboken and Penn). It's just not going to work.

spatulashack
March 17th, 2007, 03:09 PM
This really NEEDS to be built. Anyone who says it is a waste of money doesn't use NJtransit during rush hour. The fact of the matter is that trains are almost always delayed 5 - 10 minutes at Seacaucus because there is just not enough room left to squeeze anymore trains into the two tunnels. Also, all the trains are approaching over-crowding to rival the Lex in Manhattan. This tunnel needs to be built yesterday. As for rendering the new transfer station useless, that is completely untrue. First of all, the tunnels won't be built for another 10 years and without that transfer station, the situation would be even WORSE with Hoboken being overcrowded and PATH trains even worse than they are now. Seacaucus station was needed and welcome. Even after the tunnels are finished, the station will most likely become a heavily used commuter station instead of just a transfer station like it is now. Not to mention, people will STILL need to transfer even with the new tunnels because some trains will head into Hoboken and some into Manhattan. Also, the transfer is needed for those to the north on the Main and Bergan lines to access Newark Airport. This project MUST be built. It's just as, if not more important than the Second Avenue Subway in Manhattan.

NIMBYkiller
March 17th, 2007, 08:42 PM
You obviously haven't paid attention to a single word I said. I said that I agree a tunnel IS NEEDED. I said I feel the money would be BETTER SPENT on a tunnel to downtown, but that this project is still EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

The part that I said was useless is the LOOP. Perhaps you're confused. The LOOP will be running trains from the Port Jervis, Main, Bergen, and Pascack Valley Lines through Secaucus Transfer, around a HUGE circle, and through Secaucus Transfer a second time. The main purpose of this station is to allow people from the lines mentioned above the ability to reach Penn Station by New Jersey Transit. The ability to use it to reach Newark, the airport, and other areas south is just an added benefit.

I'd rather see those lines mentioned above sent to downtown. AT THE SAME TIME, I'd like to see another Hudson River tunnel to Penn Station built, that way NJT isn't delayed anymore and, maybe, JUST maybe, Amtrak can run a few more trains or Metro North can come in from the Hudson line.

So, in the end, I say build the new lower level and tunnel to Penn Station. DON'T build the loop. In the future, build a line for the Bergen/Main/PVL/Port Jervis lines, as well as any other line, to send trains downtown

debris
March 19th, 2007, 04:07 PM
I believe the Bergen Arches could be used to send Main Line trains to Jersey City? And from there, a new tunnel? But the JC mayor wants light rail through the Bergen Arches.....

NIMBYkiller
March 20th, 2007, 12:26 AM
He wants light rail, road lobbyists want a highway, and some of us want commuter rail. I think we're all at equal opportunity for what we want to be accomplished b/c really, there aren't any plans for the light rail(atleast nothing that has been made public). I've seen just as many news articles about light rail as I have about a highway.

I think that light rail is the 2nd best option, with commuter rail being the best.

JCMAN320
April 2nd, 2007, 12:44 AM
PORT AUTHORITY APPROVES AGREEMENT TO BECOME FULL PARTNER AGENCY WITH NJ TRANSIT IN TRANS-HUDSON EXPRESS TUNNEL

Date: March 29, 2007
Press Release Number: 26-2007

The Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners today approved a memorandum of understanding with NJ Transit that makes the Port Authority a partner agency in the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel and gives the agency the primary responsibility for real estate acquisition and construction management in New York.

The Board’s actions will advance the planning and development of the project, also known as Access to the Region’s Core. The initiative will create a second passenger rail tunnel connecting Manhattan to New Jersey, and includes expanding track and platform capacity adjacent to Penn Station New York beneath 34th Street in Manhattan.

The document establishes a framework for the Port Authority and NJ Transit to enter into a formal agreement to advance the project’s planning, development, design, engineering, real estate acquisition, construction and related activities.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “This is exactly the type of major construction project that the Port Authority was created to do. It will allow this agency to use its extensive engineering expertise to provide much-needed capacity enhancement for interstate travel, and will help ensure that the regional economy remains strong.”

Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, “We must commit to ARC now to ensure our region’s economic health for years to come. Millions of commuters now use the region’s roads, rails, bridges and tunnels each day, and projections call for extensive growth across the metropolitan area in the next 10 to 20 years. If we don’t act to relieve future burdens on the region’s transportation network, we won’t be ready to deal with these new commuters when they arrive, and the region’s economic vitality will suffer. By starting early, we’re ensuring that our region is primed for growth.”

Under the memorandum of understanding, a steering committee consisting of an equal number of staff from the Port Authority and NJ Transit will be formed to provide oversight and leadership for the project. NJ Transit will be primarily responsible for real estate acquisition and construction management in New Jersey.

The Port Authority’s Board has previously committed up to $2 billion towards the project, inclusive of up to $75 million for the identification and acquisition of property in New York City needed for the tunnel project, as well as $10 million for preliminary planning and engineering activities associated with the project. The project includes improvements to the Northeast Corridor rail line, the purchase of coaches and locomotives, and the acquisition of property or property rights.

NJ Transit recently released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project and public hearings ended this week. The comment period ends on April 10.

NIMBYkiller
April 2nd, 2007, 10:11 AM
And no mention of the Secaucus loop

STT757
April 3rd, 2007, 09:30 AM
And no mention of the Secaucus loop

Page 12

http://www.accesstotheregionscore.com/images/ARC%20RCLC%206-29-05.pdf

NIMBYkiller
April 3rd, 2007, 01:34 PM
Dont even bother. Those are the same guys who once had linking Penn Station and Grand Central on their site, complete with fancy diagrams and everything. Where's that project now? Dead. Read: CONCEPTUAL alignment plan. Nothing is written in stone yet.

And like I said before, it's looking like it'll be faster to just transfer trains at Secaucus than ride through that loop. Trains will have to crawl at a painfully slow pace

STT757
April 3rd, 2007, 04:53 PM
Dont even bother. Those are the same guys who once had linking Penn Station and Grand Central on their site, complete with fancy diagrams and everything. Where's that project now? Dead. Read: CONCEPTUAL alignment plan. Nothing is written in stone yet.

And like I said before, it's looking like it'll be faster to just transfer trains at Secaucus than ride through that loop. Trains will have to crawl at a painfully slow pace

Those guys are NJ Transit, the Port Authority of NY and NJ and the Federal Transportation Administration. The alternative G (Grand Central) link was part of the preliminary scoping process, that alternative was eliminated in favor of alternative P (34th Street station), there was also an alternative S (Sunny Side Yard).

The ARC website is a portal from which the public can view the status and documents of the ARC study, what with the Alternative G proposal was exactly that a proposal that was later rejected. As was the no build alternative which is required by Federal Law be included in all scoping process.

You think ARC is some guys in their parents basement?..

It's a Multi-million dollar multi year effort funded through various State, Regional and Federal Agencies. It's a Government study connected to the Tunnel project, it's not some railfan with time on their hands

NIMBYkiller
April 3rd, 2007, 11:53 PM
I know the ARC is a collection of NJT and the others, but like I said, I'll wait til I see it or hear it from NJT themselves.

Regardless of what they do, I still think the loop is a rediculous waste of money. It makes the transfer station almost useless, with the exception of the people commuting to places like Metropark. Just send the former Erie lines(PVL, Main, Bergen, PJ) to a new downtown terminal. It can definately be done, and with so much focus on bringing downtown back to life, I don't see why they shouldn't do it.

Squeezing 5 terminals into 2 is not working and never will.

NIMBYkiller
April 8th, 2007, 06:59 PM
I feel like I should say this. I have been a bit too stubborn. You have shown me sufficient evidence to believe atleast in the possibility of such service. All my contacts continually deny it, but what is said on the sites is compelling.

Still, my position remains that the loop is a rediculously horrible waste of money. Those 4 lines should be split between Hoboken and downtown.

STT757
April 8th, 2007, 11:38 PM
ARC is one step from Federal funding approval, there will be shovels in the ground by 2009. Any project that needs Federal funding needs to go through a lengthy study process.

The first study was the Major Investment Study (MIS) which was completed in 2003, that's where they eliminated the alternative G and alternative S proposals in favor of the Alternative P which is what they are going to build.


About the DEIS

The Access to the Region’s Core Draft Environmental Impact Statement builds on findings of a Major Investment Study (MIS) conducted by NJ TRANSIT, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Completed in April 2003, the MIS identified and evaluated alternatives to provide additional trans-Hudson passenger access.

What was just completed in 2006 was the Draft Enviromental Impact study (DEIS), once the public comment period is over the last step to Federal approval is the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). Once that is approved Federal funding can be approved and construction can begin, approval is expected in 2008 and Construction is set to begin in 2009.

MIS (2003) -DEIS (2006) -FEIS (2008) - Construction starts (2009).
Here's a couple releases from NJ Transit.

http://www.njtransit.com/tm/tm_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=PressReleaseTo&PRESS_RELEASE_ID=2293

http://www.njtransit.com/tm/tm_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=PressReleaseTo&PRESS_RELEASE_ID=2303

Like it or not two key aspects of the project are the "Loop" and the dual mode locomotives, without the loop the Pascack Valley, Main, Bergen and Future West Shore and or Northern Branch would not be able to access the NEC.


The project will allow for the introduction of “one-seat” rail service to New York on the Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley and Raritan Valley lines, the Montclair-Boonton Line west of Montclair, North Jersey Coast Line south to Bay Head, as well as the Morristown Line west of Dover. It will also create the capacity for future rail extensions..

Yes it's redundant to run trains through the station twice, but that's what they put into the plan which cannot be altered at this point without starting the whole multi year process all over again. The Tunnel, the 34th street station and the Loop are all part of the same project, all will be built at the same time.

The dual mode locomotives and the replacement of the Portal bridge on the NEC are separate NJ Transit project.

Keep in mind the new tunnels will allow NJ Transit to increase their hourly trains to Manhattan from 22-48, even with 48 trains an hour capacity to Manhattan they will not have enough slots for all NJ Transit trains, thus the continued need for Secaucus Transfer and Hoboken Terminal.

Yes direct NJ Transit service to Lower Manhattan is a great idea, but that's for a future project.This project is also needed as the current two tunnels Amtrak and NJ Transit share to Manhattan now are insuffiecient and at nearly 100 years old un safe. Opening up these two new tunnels will allow NJ Transit and Amtrak to perform much needed total overhaul and rebuilding of the existing tunnels that could not be performed and keep current schedules.

Look at what the Port Authority was able to do with the former H&M tunnels to the World Trade Center, they totaly rebuilt the entire line from Exchange place to the World Trade Center. They totaly rebuilt the tunnels including new beds tracks, signaling, saftey features etc. The ride from Exchange Place to the World Trade Center is as smooth as silk compared to other segments of PATH tracks, being able to shut down one of the Amtrak Hudson tunnels for a similar tear down and rebuild is much needed to reduce the constant service interruptions due to increpid equipment and also provide better security againts Madrid like attacks or accidents.

This project is happening now, it's one step from starting construction. To change the scope to send trains to Lower Manhattan would add a decade or more to the project as you would need to start from scratch.

The ARC project is needed now, Lower Manhattan service could be for future Generations.

NIMBYkiller
April 9th, 2007, 11:21 PM
You seem to be consitently confusing my argument. I don't care about the tunnels. I know how much an improvement they are. I'm for them. The thing I'm against is the loop. I've continuously said that these tunnels, as well as the NYP lower level, are needed for the capacity. With these tunnels, NJT and Amtrak will no longer be delayed because of holding at the tunnels. Please don't treat me like I'm a moron

JCMAN320
April 23rd, 2007, 04:58 PM
N.Y. to fund part of a new tunnel under Hudson
Auto congestion fee drives rail deal

Monday, April 23, 2007
BY RON MARSICO
Star-Ledger Staff

New York City has agreed to fund nearly half the projected $7.2 billion cost of a second trans-Hudson River rail tunnel under Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new 25-year transportation improvement plan, according to a high-ranking transportation official familiar with the arrangement.

Proceeds from the Bloomberg administration's proposal to charge as much as an $8 congestion fee for cars entering much of Manhattan would help fund the city's $3.5 billion commitment to the long-awaited tunnel, the official said.

But there is a major catch: The city will follow through on the commitment only if the congestion pricing plan becomes reality -- and that will require the New York Legislature's approval, according to the official.

Congestion pricing, which has gained momentum worldwide in recent years, would generate upward of $500 million per year for the city, while, hopefully, reducing traffic. It would be in effect during workday hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and apply to vehicles entering the city below 86th Street.

Cars and trucks coming from New Jersey via the Holland and Lincoln tunnels and George Washington Bridge would get a credit for their toll against the congestion fee. For example, if the congestion fee is $8, then cars paying the typical current maximum toll of $6 would only pay an additional $2.

Bloomberg said "there's no magic number" for setting the fee, but it has to be high enough to get people to switch to mass transit and low enough to remain affordable.

If the congestion pricing plan is approved, the $3.5 billion from the city would go a long way toward closing the existing funding gap for the massive project.

Congestion pricing has been talked about in New York City before, particularly after London adopted its program four years ago. The proposal was met by instant criticism and appeared to be dead until Bloomberg, himself once a skeptic, revived it this weekend.

"As the city continues to grow, the costs of congestion -- to our health, to our environment, and to our economy -- are only going to get worse," according to the text of a speech Bloomberg delivered yesterday at the American Museum of Natural History. "The question is not whether we want to pay but how do we want to pay. With an increased asthma rate? With more greenhouse gases? Wasted time? Lost business? And higher prices? Or, do we charge a modest fee to encourage more people to take mass transit?"

Thus far, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has committed $2 billion, while New Jersey has agreed to kick in $500 million. Federal funding also is expected, but no specific amount has been designated.

The new link -- which would run adjacent to the existing century-old, two-track tunnel -- is expected to double rail capacity between New Jersey and Midtown. Construction is slated to begin in 2009, with completion at the earliest by 2016.

"It's a way to get people into New York City without cars," the transportation official said. "The project fits everything they (Bloomberg and other city representatives) want -- so why not support it financially?"

The individual added, "They don't want cars in Manhattan. They still want people in Manhattan."

A new tunnel is deemed critical to meeting the region's burgeoning transportation needs. The existing tunnel often is overwhelmed at rush hours by the crunch of Amtrak trains -- which have priority -- and NJ Transit rail commuters. NJ Transit ridership, which currently totals more than 40,000 weekday morning commuters, is expected to reach 100,000 rush-hour passengers by 2015.

The transportation official said Anthony Coscia, chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, backed Bloomberg's plans and worked to gain the city's commitment to donate $3.5 billion to the tunnel.

The agency endorsed Bloomberg's speech.

"The mayor deserves enormous credit for tackling some of the biggest issues facing our region and the Port Authority looks forward to working with the city and both states to help meet these challenges," Port Authority spokesman Steve Sigmund said yesterday. "We are gratified that the plan puts so much focus on many of the critical mass transit projects that the agency is investing in."

Port Authority support is important because it operates the Hudson River crossings and is taking a major role on the second rail tunnel project because of its pledge to kick in $2 billion for that initiative.

"Coscia agreed to support the plan because he was able to convince City Hall to give back to the most important project for cross- Hudson commuters," the transportation official said.

Stalled for decades despite long-standing support from transportation groups like the Regional Plan Association, proposals for a new trans-Hudson rail tunnel have gained speed in recent years. Gov. Jon Corzine has made it a top priority, and New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has offered support -- provided the Port Authority makes a significant contribution to another major transportation project east of the Hudson River.

Last year, the Federal Transit Administration allowed preliminary engineering work to begin on the tunnel -- a harbinger of future financial support from the federal government. The city's major financial commitment is expected to add to the momentum; typically, the federal government prefers to support initiatives in which local governments also pledge to contribute significant amounts of money.



Ron Marsico may be reached at rmarsico@starledger.com or (973) 392-7860.

ablarc
April 23rd, 2007, 06:23 PM
But there is a major catch: The city will follow through on the commitment only if the congestion pricing plan becomes reality -- and that will require the New York Legislature's approval, according to the official.
Smart move.

JCMAN320
May 14th, 2007, 07:00 PM
NJ shifts $1B in federal highway aid to Hudson tunnel

Posted by The Star-Ledger May 14, 2007 1:01PM

New Jersey will use $1 billion of federal highway aid to help pay for a second rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River.

The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority board today approved Gov. Jon Corzine's plan to shift the money to the tunnel project and to repay it over 10 years with money from the Transportation Trust Fund.

The shift brings the local share of the tunnel's cost to $3.5 billion, about half of the expected total cost.

The tunnel, projected to be completed by 2015, will double the number of trains NJ Transit and Amtrak are able to run to and from midtown Manhattan during peak periods.

New Jersey officials consider the project crucial to the state's future.

Peter Palmer, a Somerset County freeholder and a member of the NJTPA board, said every North Jersey county has a transportation project planned that will depend on the tunnel for completion.

"Unquestionably, this step was the way to go," Palmer said.

Morris County Freeholder Gene Feyl and Middlesex County Freeholder David Crabiel, both members of the board, voted in favor of the transfer but cautioned that the board will have to keep a close eye in the coming years to make sure the money is repaid from the beleaguered Transportation Trust Fund.

Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri said the large sum pledged by New Jersey and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey should prove the region's commitment to the project when federal authorities decide whether to fund the project in the coming years.

Contributed by Tom Feeney

BrooklynRider
May 14th, 2007, 10:27 PM
That's a very forward looking move. Bravo!

JCexpert558
August 4th, 2007, 11:38 AM
Will this train station put more tracks inside the train stations on the N.E Corridor?

ablarc
August 4th, 2007, 11:46 AM
^ Are they needed?

66nexus
August 4th, 2007, 01:41 PM
This can do nothing but good for both states, and should alleviate congestion going to/from the city. However, they need to do more to promote the use of mass transit in NJ

ablarc
August 4th, 2007, 01:59 PM
However, they need to do more to promote the use of mass transit in NJ
They could start by calling it something besides "mass transit."




Chauffeured commute?

66nexus
August 4th, 2007, 03:47 PM
They could start by calling it something besides "mass transit."




Chauffeured commute?


Good point

JCMAN320
October 11th, 2007, 03:47 AM
Plan for rail tunnel is revised to dig deeper, disrupt less

Thursday, October 11, 2007
By TOM FEENEY
NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE

NJ Transit now plans to dig deeper into the bedrock beneath Manhattan when it builds a new $7.5 billion rail tunnel between New Jersey and New York, officials said yesterday.

Because of environmental and community concerns, the agency's plans now call for the tunnel to be between 40 and 50 feet deeper than previously planned from the banks of the Hudson River to a new station at 34th Street, one block from the existing Penn Station, said Arthur D. Silber, the project chief.

Construction will no longer involve digging a trench under much of Manhattan's West Side, so the impact on streets, parks and businesses will be lessened, Silber said. Nor do the plans any longer call for connecting the tracks in the new tunnels to the 100-year-old infrastructure of the Northeast Corridor - work that would have required track closures and led to commuter delays over a long period of time, officials said.

"Before we made the refinements to the project, we were looking at significant delays to customers," said Alan M. Weinberg, senior director of real estate and public affairs for the tunnel project. "The folks who are out there, who are taking the train on a regular basis, they want to get to New York, and they want to get there fast. They don't want eight years of delays."

Leaders of five passenger advocacy groups in New Jersey and New York criticized the changes during yesterday's monthly meeting of the NJ Transit board.

"Trains in the proposed 34th Street Terminal will be 175 feet below the street, the equivalent of a 20-story residential building and more than four times as deep as today's Penn Station," said Joseph M. Clift, a former director of planning for the Long Island Railroad and a member of an advocacy organization called the Regional Rail Working Group.

Clift urged the NJ Transit board to insist on knowing more about the safety risks posed by building a terminal so far underground.

NJ Transit, in partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has proposed the tunnel, the new 34th Street terminal and other improvements as part of a project it calls "Access to the Region's Core." The primary purpose of the project is to "reduce the bottleneck" the existing tunnel causes in rail traffic between New Jersey and Manhattan, Silber said.

TonyO
November 11th, 2007, 01:33 PM
NY Times
The City
Editorial

Time to Move on a Hudson Tunnel

Published: November 11, 2007

It sounds absurd, but the only passenger rail tunnel that crosses under the Hudson River to New York was built a century ago. It has two tracks, one coming and one going, shared by two very busy railroads, Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. Capacity is limited, delays are frequent. Something clearly must be done to supplement what is, after all, an essential lifeline to the nation’s largest city.

Redundancy is key: a major breakdown in that tunnel could deal a blow not only to many thousands of commuters and other passengers but the regional economy as a whole.

Fortunately, this oversight is on its way to being corrected. Even as it takes on a host of other projects, the Port Authority has been pushing a second two-track tunnel, called the “Access to the Region’s Core,” or ARC. The project was championed by Gov. Jon Corzine when he was in the United States Senate, and has the support of Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The project will require about $8 billion, roughly half of which has been secured, with $2 billion coming from the Port Authority. Creative financing, including borrowing from New Jersey federal highway aid that had been targeted for congestion relief, has yielded another $1 billion..

This is all money well spent. Now Congress needs to do its part by finding and committing the remaining funds. The tunnel is an extremely sound investment. And the need could not be more urgent.

If the plan goes forward, rail passenger capacity would double. New Jersey travelers would get a one-seat ride to Midtown Manhattan, instead of having to transfer, as many now do. Commuting times would be reduced. .

New York is among the nation’s most vibrant areas, a veritable cash cow for regional governments, but its economy will not continue to grow as long as its transportation infrastructure stays where it is. The limits on passenger rail hit hardest where growth has been fastest, west of the Hudson, where population is expected to increase 72 percent in the next quarter century.

Getting across the Hudson frustrates nearly everyone. Ask the poor soul who has tried to come across from the Garden State through the Lincoln or Holland Tunnels, or over the George Washington Bridge, especially at rush hours. But the ARC could help there, too. Transit officials estimate that as many as 35,000 cars may come off the road as motorists choose the train. If true, that could reduce congestion and vehicle emissions.

Critics complain that the tunnel will be at capacity from the minute it opens. That is probably true, which is all the more reason to push for a timely completion, now projected at 2016. The tunnel alone cannot fix the problems of moving in and out of the city, but it can help.

brianac
November 15th, 2007, 03:30 AM
Port Authority Expected to Raise Tolls to Support 2nd Hudson Rail Tunnel

By KEN BELSON (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/ken_belson/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: November 15, 2007

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/port_authority_of_new_york_and_new_jersey/index.html?inline=nyt-org), at its monthly board meeting today, will propose increasing by $1 billion its contribution to a second passenger rail tunnel under the Hudson River to Pennsylvania Station, supported by a toll increase, an agency spokesman said yesterday.

The authority’s increased contribution, to $3 billion from $2 billion, is a driving force behind its decision to seek toll increases on the bridges and tunnels connecting New Jersey with Manhattan and Staten Island and higher fares on its PATH trains, said the spokesman, Stephen Sigmund. Those toll increases were to be proposed at today’s meeting.

The agency plans to spend the $3 billion toward construction of the tunnel, which is expected to cost about $8 billion and to be completed by 2016. The $3 billion, along with $1 billion from New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund, will provide half the money for the project, a benchmark that has to be reached to obtain federal matching funds.

Mr. Sigmund declined to say how high the Port Authority planned to raise tolls and fares, but other officials have said drivers will pay $8, up from $6, to cross the Hudson River. Under the plan, PATH riders would pay $2, up from $1.50.

The new tunnel will allow twice as many Amtrak (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/amtrak/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and New Jersey Transit (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/new_jersey_transit/index.html?inline=nyt-org) trains to enter Penn Station, relieving bottlenecks and permitting expanded service.

Last year, the Port Authority unveiled a $26 billion capital plan, which over 10 years would expand the region’s airports, ports and rail networks, and help rebuild the World Trade Center.

At today’s meeting, the Port Authority will also take action to expand the capital plan for airports and mass transit. Mr. Sigmund declined to say how large the plan would now be.

The toll and fare increases were expected to generate about $300 million a year in new revenue, which would be used to back bonds to finance the new tunnel.

The New York Times.

ablarc
November 15th, 2007, 06:50 AM
Critics complain that the tunnel will be at capacity from the minute it opens. That is probably true, which is all the more reason to push for a timely completion, now projected at 2016.
Why can't they build these things faster?

I suspect the delays are more administrative than technical.

Need to learn how to cut through red tape.

NYatKNIGHT
November 15th, 2007, 10:15 AM
Agreed, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Port Authority's middle name is Red Tape.

JCMAN320
February 5th, 2008, 05:53 PM
Proposed Hudson tunnel gets high marks

by The Jersey Journal Tuesday February 05, 2008, 4:20 PM

New Jersey has received a key federal endorsement of plans to build another train tunnel under the Hudson River, allowing twice as many trains access to Manhattan, officials told the Associated Press.

The Federal Transit Administration gave the project a rating of "medium to high," said state Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri, who said the rating makes it more likely the state will receive a major federal contribution for the project.

Five of 14 planned new transit projects nationwide received that rating from the federal government, Kolluri said. Others got a lower score.

Last year, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters voiced her support for the project, but did not promise money to pay for it.

New Jersey is asking the federal government to pay between $2.5 billion and $3 billion toward the total expected cost of $7.5 billion for the tunnel.

The state government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would pay the rest of the cost.

But the state's share would only come if lawmakers accept Gov. Jon S. Corzine's plan to use big hikes on toll roads to pay down the state's debt and restructure its finances, Kolluri said.

Many Republican lawmakers -- and toll-road users -- in New Jersey oppose the plan.

Kolluri said construction is planned to begin sometime in 2009, and the project could be completed in 2016.

JCMAN320
March 24th, 2008, 04:48 PM
Rail tunnel should reach the East Side

Monday, March 24, 2008
BY TOM DAVIS
STAFF WRITER

The proposed second rail tunnel to New York City should go all the way to Manhattan’s East Side, according to a planning study that will be released Tuesday. Instead of ending at Penn Station, the tunnel would reach Madison Avenue with a possible link to Grand Central.

The Regional Plan Association, a transportation advocacy group, also recommends adding a light-rail loop to NJTransit’s Access to the Region’s Core project to increase midtown circulation that would accommodate new Manhattan development.

“New York and New Jersey need the same access over the Hudson River that Long Islanders will realize when the LIRR starts arriving at Grand Central in 2015 — shaving times off already long commutes and getting to their jobs faster,” said Jeffrey Zupan, senior transportation fellow for RPA and the report’s primary author.

The three-part analysis, the result of a multi-year research effort called, “The New Trans-Hudson Tunnel: Making it Work Best,” says the extension would shave approximately 20 minutes per day off the commutes of 30,000 New Jersey commuters arriving at Penn Station but destined for the East Side.

Those riders now face a two-seat subway ride across town to the Midtown central business district around Grand Central, according to the report.

E-mail: davist@northjersey.com

Peter Quennell
March 24th, 2008, 07:46 PM
While I do like this (always have) how will the trains "behave" here?

For example, empty half the passenger load under Herald Square, and the other half under - ah - Madison? (Thats right where my wife works.)

But they are not so far apart. Why not make it all the way to to Park Avenue South and connect to the subway?

A far grander alternative would to have the trains finish their trip under Herald Square, but then have a walkway to a new subway line under 34th (obviously, the extension of the 7 line down from Javits comes to mind) which would stop at Fifth, maybe at Madison, and certainly at Park Avenue, and Second.

Connections to all the north-south subway lines where relevant.

Peter Quennell
March 24th, 2008, 07:49 PM
Oh and that article JCMan320 quotes: Wouldnt it be a 3-seat ride to Grand Central?

I dont have my subway map here but I think theres no direct line from Penn area to GCT.

Dynamicdezzy
March 24th, 2008, 09:09 PM
2 seat subway ride. Once at penn, one would hop on either the 7th or 8th ave subway lines and transfer at 42nd to the 7 or shuttle trains to grand central.

JCMAN320
March 26th, 2008, 02:16 AM
Support for extending rail tunnel to near Grand Central

Wednesday, March 26, 2008
By TOM FEENEY
NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE

A new commuter rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River would be good. Extending it from the West Side of Manhattan to the East Side would make it better.

That's the central argument offered by the nonprofit Regional Plan Association in a report made public Monday.

New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plan to build an $8 billion commuter rail tunnel to provide much-needed capacity for getting trains back and forth between New Jersey and a new station beneath 34th Street, close to the existing Penn Station. The project, known as Access to the Region's Core, or ARC, is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

The RPA supports the project, but its report encourages the agencies to consider adding a second phase to connect the 34th Street Station to a new station beneath Madison Avenue at 45th Street, near Grand Central Terminal, on the East Side. The extension would provide New Jersey commuters with a one-seat ride to the part of Manhattan where a majority of jobs are located.

"Access to the Region's Core will have tremendous benefits for New York, New Jersey and the entire Mega-region," reads the report by RPA, an independent, not-for-profit regional planning organization that has been working to improve the quality of life and the economic competitiveness of the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region for more than 80 years. "These benefits can be expanded by considering a second phase of the project connecting to Manhattan's East Side," the report adds.

Gov. Jon Corzine has called the ARC project New Jersey's top transportation priority. The Port Authority has pledged $3 billion toward its completion, and New Jersey has pledged $1.5 billion. The agencies hope the Federal Transit Administration will pay for much of the balance.

Ed007Toronto
March 27th, 2008, 11:38 AM
Instead of near Grand Central why not connect directly into the new LIRR station at Grand Central?

STT757
March 27th, 2008, 12:23 PM
NJ Transit trains would not fit into the LIRR tunnels being bored to Grand Central Terminal, LIRR is using Electric MU's which run on third rail power. NJ Transit trains operate via overhead catenary power, connecting the two systems is not easily accomplished.

Differences is propulsion systems is the reason they are building an entirely new concourse for LIRR below the current Grand Central concourses, even though there is plenty of excess platform capacity at the current concourses. LIRR and Metro North use two different type of third rail propulsion systems, they are not compatible. NJ Transit uses Amtrak overhead catenary for power.

Extending NJ Transit to Grand Central absolutely makes sense, as it would provide a one seat ride for the tens of thousands of commuters who sometimes have to take two subway transfers to reach their east side jobs from Penn Station.

JCMAN320
March 28th, 2008, 05:40 AM
Planning group backs rail tunnel but recommends it go further
Says N.J.-N.Y. project should be extended to Manhattan's East Side

Tuesday, March 25, 2008
BY TOM FEENEY
Star-Ledger Staff

A new commuter rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River would be good. Extending it from the West Side of Manhattan to the East Side would make it better.

That's the central argument offered by the nonprofit Regional Plan Association in a report made public yesterday.

New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plan to build an $8 billion commuter rail tunnel to provide much-needed capacity for getting trains back and forth between New Jersey and a new station beneath 34th Street, close to the existing Penn Station, on the West Side of Manhattan. The project, known as Access to the Region's Core, or ARC, is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

The RPA supports the project, but its report encourages the agencies to consider adding a second phase to connect the 34th Street Station to a new station beneath Madison Avenue at 45th Street, near Grand Central Terminal, on the East Side. The extension would provide New Jersey commuters with a one-seat ride to the part of Manhattan where a majority of jobs are located.

"Access to the Region's Core will have tremendous benefits for New York, New Jersey and the entire Mega-region," reads the report by RPA, an independent, not-for- profit regional planning organization that has been working to improve the quality of life and the economic competitiveness of the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region for more than 80 years. "These benefits can be expanded by considering a second phase of the project connecting to Manhattan's East Side," the report adds.

Gov. Jon Corzine has called the ARC project New Jersey's top transportation priority. The Port Authority has pledged $3 billion toward its completion, and New Jersey has pledged $1.5 billion. The agencies hope the Federal Transit Administration will pay for much of the balance.

"The RPA has taken a leading role in building tremendous bistate support for ARC, and we appreci ate the group's continued efforts to advocate for future expansions," said the Port Authority's chief of public affairs, Steve Sigmund. "Now it's time for the FTA to join the Port Authority and New Jersey to fund this project that's so critical to the region's, and the nation's, future."

The new rail tunnel would represent the first expansion of capacity across the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York since a second deck was added to the George Washington Bridge 46 years ago. It would enable NJ Transit to double the number of trains it runs to and from Manhattan during morning and evening peak periods. And it would mean a one-seat ride into Manhattan for many New Jersey commuters who now must switch trains in Secaucus or Newark.

The RPA advocated a link to the East Side of Manhattan in a 2003 report on the ARC project. The new report uses data not available then to evaluate the link, and it reflects a change in thinking on the part of RPA.

The 2003 report suggested the link be made in the form of a rail loop that would have delivered NJ Transit passengers to four Midtown locations. The RPA now advocates a direct extension from the West Side to the new terminal beneath Madison Avenue.Jeffrey M. Zuppan, the report's principal author and a senior transportation fellow for RPA, said the extension would provide nearly the same level of benefit while costing much less than the loop.

Zuppan said he believes the ARC project should go ahead as scheduled.

"This is an important project," he said. "We're not suggesting it be held up. We're suggesting this extension be done as a second phase after the first phase is done."

NJ Transit spokesman Dan Stessel said the design of the ARC project would enable a future generation to build an East Side extension.


Tom Feeney may be reached at tfeeney@starledger.com or (973) 392-1790.

brianac
April 6th, 2008, 04:23 AM
Tunnel Milestone, and More to Come

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/06/nyregion/06rtunnel-600.jpg Mike Rosenthal/New Jersey Transit
DURABLE MARVEL The view from a train going through the tunnel.

By KEN BELSON (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/ken_belson/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: April 6, 2008

TO many commuters, the two tunnels that connect New Jersey and Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan seem so ordinary that they barely give them a second thought — except, perhaps, when their train breaks down inside them.

Multimedia
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/05/nyregion/06tunnel190.jpgInteractive Graphic (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/04/05/nyregion/nyregionspecial/20080405_TUNNEL_GRAPHIC.html)Two Tunnels, Two Eras (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/04/05/nyregion/nyregionspecial/20080405_TUNNEL_GRAPHIC.html)


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/06/nyregion/06rtunnel.1-500.jpgMike Rosenthal/New Jersey Transit
DURABLE The twin train tunnels’ entrance in North Bergen, N.J.

Yet when the Pennsylvania Railroad blasted the final pieces of rock out of the tunnels to complete the underground link a century ago this week, they were hailed by many as an engineering marvel and the product of foresight and gumption.

The Gilded Age tunnels have performed remarkably well and defied skeptics — including some of the engineers who built them and doubted their durability. Each business day, about 150,000 passengers ride the 337 New Jersey Transit (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/new_jersey_transit/index.html?inline=nyt-org) trains that roll through the 6,100-foot-long cast iron tubes, which are owned and operated by Amtrak (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/amtrak/index.html?inline=nyt-org), which itself runs 104 trains. Another 39 empty New Jersey Transit trains use the tunnel.

But the tunnels reached their peak-hour capacity in 2003 when the Secaucus transfer hub opened. So New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/port_authority_of_new_york_and_new_jersey/index.html?inline=nyt-org) are planning to spend $7.6 billion to build a second set that will more than double, to 48 an hour, the number of trains that can traverse the Hudson.

The project, called Access to the Region’s Core, or ARC, is in some ways as monumental as the first tunnels, which cost the Pennsylvania Railroad $111 million, a price tag that included the old Pennsylvania Station and four other tunnels under the East River. (It’s about $2.5 billion now when accounting for inflation.)

If federal approval is given this summer and grants are secured later this year, construction will begin in early 2009 and take eight years. Contractors will deploy boring machines the length of football fields to drill through granite, schist and other materials, use laser-guided satellite signals to pinpoint their location, and carve a path under 34th Street so wide that commuters will be able to walk underground to 14 subway lines, and to PATH, Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and Long Island Rail Road trains.

The sophisticated machinery dwarfs the equipment used a century ago, when legions of sandhogs, or underground construction workers, risked their lives toiling in high-pressurized chambers slopping silt into carts that were hauled away by mules. But in other ways, the techniques for boring through hard rock and under riverbeds and serpentine city streets remain remarkably similar.

“The principles back then were almost the same except today, things are more mechanized and automated,” said Howard Sackel, the deputy chief of the tunnel project.

The ARC tunnels are part of a larger tableau of civil projects that include the construction of the Second Avenue subway and the East Side Access project that will bring L.I.R.R. trains to a station adjacent to Grand Central Terminal.

Some pundits have compared these days of large-scale projects to when master builders like Robert Moses (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/robert_moses/index.html?inline=nyt-per) reshaped New York’s landscape with aplomb.

But many of these projects were designed decades ago, when New York’s existing bridges, tunnels and rail lines had already reached capacity. In that light, many transportation officials view the ARC project as an urgent necessity, not unlike the first tunnels that were designed so riders could avoid crossing the Hudson by ferry.

“We’re still living off the past in many ways, and we have to think big again,” said Rae Zimmerman, the director of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems at New York University (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/new_york_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org). “But we also really have to keep up the level of service because these big projects can take 20 to 30 years to build.”

Keeping up means raising tolls and fares at New Jersey Transit, Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road as well as at the Port Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/m/metropolitan_transportation_authority/index.html?inline=nyt-org). In addition, Gov. Jon S. Corzine (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/jon_s_corzine/index.html?inline=nyt-per) wants to raise highway tolls by as much as 800 percent. New York State is mulling a plan to charge drivers $8 to enter a zone south of 60th Street in Manhattan. Drivers entering the city from New Jersey would pay an extra $3 or $4, something Mr. Corzine opposes.

Still, the ARC project has its skeptics, just like the first tunnels, which were championed by Alexander Cassatt, the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

He had to win over shareholders who viewed the project as an expensive folly, as well as politicians in New York City who worried that the vast construction project would dilute their power by displacing so many residents.

These days, critics complain that the project would cost billions of dollars more than is currently projected and would overburden already crowded Midtown streets. Others say that the project is not ambitious enough, and that it should be extended to Grand Central Terminal. And critics say that the new annex would be too far underground and not part of other plans to redevelop the area around Pennsylvania Station.

“Having New Jersey Transit unilaterally place its commuters in a dead-end dungeon, we lose mobility,” said Albert L. Papp Jr., secretary of the National Association of Railroad Passengers. “For billions of dollars, we lose access to Penn Station and don’t get access to Grand Central Terminal.”

Like agency officials, though, many critics agree that in an era when transportation dollars are in short supply, securing money for new tunnels is critical.

While executives at New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority lobby Congress for up to $3 billion, a team of 200 engineers and architects has been busy planning every aspect of the project so construction can begin as soon as possible.


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/06/nyregion/06rtunnel.2-650.jpg
A CENTURY AGO Workers in 1908 working on the train tunnel on the Manhattan side.

The westernmost part of the project is above ground at the Frank R. Lautenberg (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/l/frank_r_lautenberg/index.html?inline=nyt-per) Station at Secaucus Junction, where a loop will be built so that instead of heading only to Hoboken, some Main, Bergen and Pascack Valley Line trains can head directly into Manhattan.

New Jersey Transit will use much of the rock and silt excavated from the tunnels to raise an 80-acre vacant lot in Kearny by 20 feet. That will create the extra space needed for trains to park at midday.

A second set of tracks will be built parallel to the existing Northeast Corridor route from Secaucus to North Bergen and the western edge of the Palisades. The new tracks, though, will veer south at Tonnelle Avenue and the entrance to the new tunnels.

There, a special hard-rock boring machine will begin its 5,000-foot descent to the river in Hoboken, where the tunnels will enter the Hudson a little more than 100 feet below ground. The distance and depth are no accident. Like the older tunnels, the new ones will have a grade of no more than 2 percent. Anything steeper and a train’s steel wheels slip on the steel rails.

“The character of steel has not changed much in the last century,” said Arthur D. Silber, the chief of the ARC project.

Geologists have taken 20,000 feet of core samples and determined that the Palisades here are filled with hard, abrasive diabase and sandstone. Workers a century ago used dynamite and rock drills to claw through the stone.

These days, operators sitting in an unpressurized chamber of a hard rock boring machine do the heavy lifting. They use computers to direct the machine. A drill in front of the shield takes samples of the rock ahead.
In front of the shield, a rotating disc with a diameter of just under 30 feet that is outfitted with about 20 specially designed teeth, chews away at the hill and spits out rocks the size of charcoal briquets. The stones roll past the shield and are carried back along the threads of a giant turning screw, which dumps the rocks onto a conveyor belt.

The machine will cover up to 50 feet a day, and it will move with far greater precision and with far less dangerous blasting than a century ago.

The most dramatic changes in construction techniques, though, are those for drilling under the river. A hundred years ago, engineers pushed iron shields that weighed up to 200 tons through the silt and clay. Nine small doors on the shield were opened at different times to allow silt and clay to pass through them like a sieve into a pressurized chamber, where workers loaded the material onto carts.

Workers also removed debris — boulders, wooden poles from wharves — that were blocking the shields’ path.

As the shields moved forward, workers installed 11-ton cast iron rings that were bolted in by hand to form the circular body of the tunnel. The liner plates were 30 inches wide and once secured, were used as leverage for pistons that pushed the shield forward by precisely another 30 inches. Sandhogs progressed up to 30 feet a day.

To speed the construction of the tunnels, the Pennsylvania Railroad had teams on both sides of the Hudson race to get to the state line under the river. (The New York team ultimately won.) This meant that each time a plate was installed, the engineers had to determine their location to ensure they were on track to meet the team advancing from the opposite shore.

Charles Jacobs, chief engineer of the North River tunnels, told a reporter at the time that this was a “simple problem of trigonometry.” Surveyors would use 100-foot lengths of piano wire inside the tunnel and towers on both shores to confirm that they were on the correct path.

“They would check every five or six rings to make sure they were straight,” said Bernie Martin, a professional engineer at Parsons Brinckerhoff and an expert on tunnel construction. “Nowadays, it’s like navigating a space ship. The accuracy is superb.”

Surveyors often discovered that they were off course, sometimes by several feet. When one of the tunnels from New Jersey was two feet too high, heavier rings were used in the hope of sinking the tunnel farther. Even after the tunnels were completed and left to settle in the silt, some engineers considered bolting the tunnel to the bedrock if the tunnel shifted too much.


“No one knew if that tunnel was 100 percent safe until trains had been going through it for many years,” Jill Jonnes, the author of “Conquering Gotham” (Viking Adult), which details the building of the tunnels and Pennsylvania Station, said in an interview. “They really didn’t know how long the tunnels would keep sinking in the mud and whether they would crack.

There was no precedent for a tunnel having hundreds of 700-ton trains going though them.”

To this day, the tunnels continue to drift ever so slightly in the riverbed.
This time, engineers will use an earth pressure balance machine to bore from New Jersey all the way to New York, and then switch to a hard rock machine to burrow under Manhattan.

The front of the machine, similar to the hard rock borer, absorbs muck and passes it through the shield. As the machine moves forward, 12-inch- and 18-inch-thick concrete segments will be put into the place behind the shield to form the wall of the tunnels. Some contractors use precast segments, while others pour concrete into forms. In both cases, gaskets are inserted in the seams between the segments to keep water and mud from seeping in.

To determine the tunnel’s location, lasers send coordinates from the boring machine back to the tunnel opening and up to global positioning satellites.

Instead of dozens of sandhogs toiling in high-pressure chambers forever in danger of getting the bends, 6 to 10 workers operate the earth pressure balance machine.

When the original tunnels were built, engineers dug a three-block-wide trench from 12th Avenue to Seventh Avenue to form the West Side railyards (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/w/west_side_railyards_nyc/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) and the tracks under Penn Station. They drew up plans for two more tunnels.

The new tunnels will enter Manhattan between 28th and 29th Streets about 150 feet below ground to avoid a bulkhead at the river’s edge, the Hudson River Park and what is expected to become the extension of the No. 7 subway line that is supposed to run along 11th Avenue.

The tunnels will run northeast to 10th Avenue and split into lower and upper tunnels that will form a two-tiered cavern with six tracks under 34th Street. The station will extend from Eighth Avenue to Sixth Avenue, with a “tail” to Fifth Avenue for trains to park.

Some transportation advocates say the new station will be a security issue because it will be more than 150 feet deep. They also note that the six tracks will be far from Penn Station, making changing trains difficult.

“There is a perception in public that this is not a deep cavern, that it’s just below the street,” said Joseph M. Clift, a member of the Regional Rail Working Group. “It sounds like fear mongering, but it’s an attractive target.”

Other transportation advocates say the construction costs are likely to soar, which could mean many more fare increases. They also question whether New Jersey Transit and other agencies have ensured that the additional 60,000 commuters who are expected to use the new station by 2030 do not overwhelm the nearby streets.

“Where do these extra people go when there’s no room for them now?” asked Kyle Wiswall, general counsel of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “As much of your commute is getting from the station to your office.”

Mr. Silber of New Jersey Transit said that the extra passengers going through the new station would be a “small contributor to the street traffic,” and that his agency is working with the city and New York State to develop a comprehensive plan to address the additional pedestrians.

In a report released last month, analysts at the Regional Plan Association (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/r/regional_plan_assn/index.html?inline=nyt-org) called for the tunnels to be extended from 34th Street to near Grand Central Terminal so commuters working on the East Side do not need to clog the subways and streets getting to and from their offices.

But they concede that their proposal is the second phase of the project, and that it is important to set aside differences so construction can begin on the first phase.

“Before you can get to Madison Avenue, let’s get the funding in place, get the thing under construction and then figure out what’s next,” said Jeffrey Zupan, a senior fellow for transportation at the association.

Copyright 2008 The New York Times.

brianac
August 1st, 2008, 07:18 PM
Amtrak, Others Critique Planned Rail Tunnel Under the Hudson

by Eliot Brown (http://www.observer.com/2007/author/eliot-brown) | August 1, 2008

http://www.observer.com/files/imagecache/article/files/arc.JPG New Jersey Transit.

We've received a bit of feedback about a story this week (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/billions-down-tunnel) on the Access to the Region's Core (http://www.accesstotheregionscore.com/) project, a $7.6 billion (at least) pair of New Jersey Transit rail tunnels slated for under the Hudson River—mostly criticisms of the project as currently planned.

The route of the tunnels has drawn criticism from many transportation advocates and some elected officials, particularly over the failure of the project to connect to tracks in Pennsylvania Station and the lack of a connection with Grand Central. Advocates have also criticized the depth of the station platforms under 34th Street, which would be about 150 feet below the street and require high-speed escalators to reach the top, though New Jersey Transit has dismissed the alternatives as far too costly.

Part of an e-mail from George Haikalis, of the Regional Rail Working Group:

In the planning stage for ARC, when MTA was a full partner, the current deep cavern station plan was compared with a plan for a direct connection to existing tracks and platforms at Penn Station that then continued with a new tunnel link to existing tracks and platforms on the Lower Level of Grand Central Terminal. In the 31-page planning study, the only publicly available document from the ARC Study, the Grand Central option would cost the less to build and operate and would attract more passengers and divert more motorists. This plan was dropped when NY's Governor George Pataki realized that this plan helped New Jersey more than New York.

But like dangling candy before a bunch of kids and then pulling it away, transit advocates are not satisfied to let what FTA Administrator James Simpson termed "the most important project in the country" be trivialized by interstate rivalry. After all, the interstate clause of the U.S. Constitution could be invoked by Simpson to attach a string to his $3 billion grant--that the two states must advance a plan that links the two busiest railway stations in the nation.


Also of note, we got a look at a letter Amtrak submitted earlier this year offering some criticism of the project as currently planned. While the rail carrier supports the project overall, it has concerns that the project will not adequately expand regional rail capacity as the area and ridership grow given its lack of a connection to the Penn Station tracks. From the letter to New Jersey Transit:

[The project's] failure to construct two short connections into Penn Station in Manhattan from the proposed ARC tunnels constitutes, from Amtrak's perspective, a breech in long established goals to expand Northeast Corridor operational capability. ... Amtrak has real concerns that the existing NEC [Northeast Corridor] trans-Hudson rail tunnels will prove inadequate to sustain operations in the future.


http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/some-criticism-planned-new-rail-tunnel-under-hudson

© 2008 Observer Media Group

Triborough
August 6th, 2008, 12:43 AM
I really think that New New Jersey and New York should eminent domain away from Amtrak their portions of the Northeast Corridor that Amtrak owns.

On the part of the Northeast Corridor in New York and Connecticut that the MTA owns you very rarely hear of power problems and other issues.

NJ Transit seems to do a pretty good job with the upkeep of what they own and would probably do a more competent job than Amtrak. For New Jersey it would probably be a bit more important, since the line is a major trunk line for the state. Something that important shouldn't be in the hands of Amtrak.

Amtrak has some absurdly high fares in the Northeast. Where does the money go? The Northeast Corridor could be profitable for them if run right and not by Amtrak. Let Amtrak run these routes that are basically for railroad buffs where it takes a days to go to Los Angeles from Chicago. Wonder how much money goes to those stupid trains.

spatulashack
August 7th, 2008, 03:58 PM
Let Amtrak run these routes that are basically for railroad buffs where it takes a days to go to Los Angeles from Chicago. Wonder how much money goes to those stupid trains.

Those, "stupid trains" are national assets that we should be investing more money in. Eventually these lines could be converted to high speed service and help replace a good amount of air-travel. Mind you that won't be happening in the near future but it is VERY important that Amtrak continue to run train service over these routes or you'd be surprised how quickly the rights of way could be quietly sold off without anyone complaining. Once that happens, any new rail construction would costs billions more dollars because tunnels and new rights of way would have to be constructed. Think of these long distance rails as an aging public park that has seen better days but could one day truly blossom.

Triborough
August 8th, 2008, 09:57 AM
Those, "stupid trains" are national assets that we should be investing more money in. Eventually these lines could be converted to high speed service and help replace a good amount of air-travel. Mind you that won't be happening in the near future but it is VERY important that Amtrak continue to run train service over these routes or you'd be surprised how quickly the rights of way could be quietly sold off without anyone complaining. Once that happens, any new rail construction would costs billions more dollars because tunnels and new rights of way would have to be constructed. Think of these long distance rails as an aging public park that has seen better days but could one day truly blossom.

You are missing one of the other problems. Those stupid trains often get delayed by freight traffic. It is more profitable for the railroads to pay off Amtrak's late fees than to let the cargo on their freight trains be late. If these are so important, they should be spun off. There is no need to charge outrageous prices for a practical service so something impractical can remain.

brianac
August 9th, 2008, 06:41 AM
Planned Hudson Tunnel Puts an Extra $6 M. in Sam Chang's Pocket [UPDATED]

by Eliot Brown (http://www.observer.com/2007/author/eliot-brown) | August 8, 2008

With at least eight years left before a set of new rail tunnels under the Hudson River are scheduled to be built and functioning, developer Sam Chang (http://www.observer.com/2007/cha-chang-sam-chang-builds-first-brands-later) has already begun to reap benefits from the project. That's because the voracious builder of cookie-cutter hotels bought a $24 million West Side parking lot last November—a lot that just happened to be the same site the Port Authority needs in order to build the more than $7 billion (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/billions-down-tunnel) project, called Access to the Region's Core (ARC) (http://www.accesstotheregionscore.com/).

Since then, the number of developers and landlords buying any city property has fallen off a cliff amid an impossible financing market, and brokers report that the bulk of sales that do happen have noticeably lower prices.

Not in this case. In a deal (http://ny.therealdeal.com/articles/mcsam-flips-chelsea-parcel-to-port-authority-for-30m) that popped up in public records yesterday, the Port Authority gave Mr. Chang $30 million for the 7,400-square-foot property at 431 West 33rd Street, an extra $6 million on top of what he agreed to pay for it in November. This deal, which went to contract in late May and just closed, was authorized by the Port Authority's board in April [PDF] (http://www.panynj.gov/AboutthePortAuthority/pdf/April_08_Operations_Minutes.pdf).

It's not clear to us how long it's been known that this site would be targeted for acquisition for the tunnels, but the first public documents we were able to find targeting the site came in February, when ARC's draft environmental impact statement noted that the lot may be needed.

After that document came out, Mr. Chang filed (http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/JobsQueryByNumberServlet?requestid=2&passjobnumber=110110647&passdocnumber=01) in March for a permit to build a 26-story hotel on the site, according to records at the Department of Buildings. He hadn't yet gotten the permit, but, according to DOB, started construction on the site anyway. DOB slapped a stop-work order on the property in late April.

Mr. Chang didn't respond to a request for comment, and we're still waiting to hear back from the Port Authority on why it needs the site, and to see if it has any insight as to why the price went up.

Mr. Chang bought the site from a company listed as Shea NY33, which itself bought the site in 2006—a year after the completion of a far West Side rezoning—for $9.4 million, according to property records.

Tripling value in two years? Not too shabby.

Update 4:15 p.m.
Port Authority spokesman Marc LaVorgna told us that the land acquistion, which is the first for ARC, is needed to provided access to the tunnels from the site. The purchase was made now, he said, because the price was likely to go up had the site been developed.

"The longer we waited, the more it was going to go up due to the potential development," he said.

http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/new-njt-rail-tunnel-puts-extra-6-m-sam-chang-s-pocket

© 2008 Observer Media Group

lofter1
August 9th, 2008, 06:35 PM
Wow -- apparently Mr. Chang is not only a developer without equal, but also a fortune teller of sorts.

Gotta wonder: Who's his deep-pocketed special friend is over at the MTA? So nice they're spreading our tax dollars around.

Mr. McSam (http://www.hoovers.com/Mcsam+Hotel,+Llc/--HD__yjfksjcxr,src__global--/free-co-dnb_factsheet.xhtml) seems to have money coming out his ears -- and other places, too. You'd almost think he's making it himself out at that pretty place in Floral Park (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=13+mayflower+place,+floral+park,+ny&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7RNWE&um=1&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&resnum=1&ct=title).

scumonkey
August 9th, 2008, 06:53 PM
...any insight as to why the price went up.

Sam Chang's unbridled GREED!:cool:

Optimus Prime
August 15th, 2008, 04:41 PM
Bet I know what Chang will do with that scratch. Put half on red [bricks], and half on black [bricks].

Triborough
August 16th, 2008, 02:30 PM
It seems that there was some shift from developers being men of vision to being people of profit. Any idea when the perception changed? My guess it was the 80s with the Trump onslaught.

JCMAN320
November 10th, 2008, 07:40 PM
N.Y.-N.J. rail tunnel clears environmental hurdle

by The Associated Press
Monday November 10, 2008, 5:47 PM

Federal authorities have approved a final environmental impact statement for the new rail tunnel between New York and New Jersey, clearing an important hurdle to federal matching funds for a proposed project that will cost $8.7 billion.

Gov. Jon Corzine, who is getting heat from Republican legislators for proposing to fund New Jersey's share of the price-tag through highway toll hikes, today called the Federal Transit Administration's approval a "major milestone" for a project that "will greatly enrich commuter rail service between New Jersey and New York."

The project aims to double train capacity by building two, single-track tunnels under the Hudson River, expand Penn Station in New York City and improve track and signal operations from east of Newark to New York.

The federal approval kicks off a 30-day public comment period, after which the FTA may end an environmental review process and allow agencies involved in the rail tunnel construction to obtain federal funds.

Corzine, echoing remarks made last week by Anthony Coscia, chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, also touted the rail tunnel as a means to boost the economy and get thousands of people in the area working.

"This key federal approval dovetails with our economic recovery plan, which includes a commitment to major capital projects that can jump-start the state's construction sector and ensure the creations of thousands of jobs for New Jersey residents," Corzine said.

But Republican New Jersey legislators, noting the price tag on what is called the Access to the Region's Core has risen by 14 percent in a year, vowed last week to fight Corzine's plan to hike tolls over the next decade on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike to fund New Jersey's share of the costs. The Republicans contend the tolls were never intended to be used for such a venture.

The rail tunnel is a joint effort by the Port Authority, NJ Transit and the state, all of which have promised to pay $5.7 billion. Authorities said they hope to obtain another $3 billion in federal matching funds.

STT757
January 4th, 2009, 10:37 PM
I wasn't sure where to post this, but here's an interesting link to the FEIS for NJ Transit's rail tunnels to 34th showing the renderings for the entrances to the 34th street station and various ventilation structures.

http://www.accesstotheregionscore.com/images/feis/04.05_Visual%20and%20Aesthetic%20Conditions%20FEIS .pdf

scumonkey
January 4th, 2009, 10:45 PM
After looking at the Manhattan structures, and placement, my first reaction was....
God I hope not!

STT757
January 4th, 2009, 10:52 PM
After looking at the Manhattan structures, and placement, my first reaction was....
God I hope not!

They're better than what is there, Duane Reade, Shoe store, Rolex shop.

ZippyTheChimp
January 4th, 2009, 11:13 PM
Merged with existing thread

scumonkey
January 4th, 2009, 11:22 PM
They're better than what is there, Duane Reade, Shoe store, Rolex shop.
So what....why replace junk with crap?

antinimby
January 4th, 2009, 11:35 PM
Plus, aren't some of those sites where they're proposing to build towers?

zinka
January 5th, 2009, 12:09 AM
Was there any consideration of building a station in Union City as part of this new tunnel construction? It's one of the densest cities in the US, and has no direct rail access to NYC.

ASchwarz
January 15th, 2009, 12:10 AM
^
Supposedly there will be a new station in North Bergen that will link to the light rail and will serve the new West Shore line.

STT757
January 15th, 2009, 11:01 AM
The ARC tunnel is moving ahead, all that is left is for the Port Authority to work out a funding agreement with the Feds for the remaining $3 Billion, when you include the work to replace the Portal Bridge and NJ Transit's purchase of dual mode locomotives to bring service to Manhattan from non electrified territories were looking at a $12 Billion project.


2nd Hudson Rail Tunnel Clears Key Federal Hurdle

By KEN BELSON
Published: January 14, 2009
The prospects for a second rail tunnel under the Hudson River to Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan received a major boost on Wednesday when federal authorities approved an environmental assessment for a $9 billion tunnel planned by New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority.

The agencies can now apply to get their final design accepted and lobby the federal government for the remaining $3 billion needed to begin work on the project, which is expected to be completed by 2017. If all goes well, the agencies believe they will be able to break ground in the summer.

Known as Access to the Region’s Core, or ARC, the tunnel would double the number of trains that can travel under the Hudson between New York and New Jersey to 48 per hour, from 23 now. The extra train service is expected to eliminate 22,000 automobile trips a day.

The new service also would allow more New Jersey Transit riders to reach New York without having to change trains in Newark or Secaucus. A second tunnel would also relieve pressure on the century-old tunnel that New Jersey Transit shares with Amtrak. The project’s six new tracks in Manhattan, which would terminate beneath 34th Street, would also allow commuters to connect underground to the subways and PATH trains at Avenue of the Americas.

With the approval on Wednesday by the Federal Transit Administration, the Port Authority and New Jersey Transit are optimistic that they can receive the remaining money they need from the federal government, partly because President-elect Barack Obama has said he is committed to spending billions of dollars on large infrastructure projects to revive the economy.

“The timing couldn’t be better, because the region could benefit from a project like this,” said Anthony R. Coscia, the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which has contributed $3 billion to the project. “In the near term, it will put a lot of people to work, and in the long term, it will revolutionize how people get into the city.”

The project is expected to generate 6,000 jobs a year during construction. An additional 44,000 jobs could be created because the tunnel would provide easier access to New York City, according to New Jersey Transit.

“By putting boots on the pavement and shovels in the dirt, this project will employ thousands of workers and help jump-start the economy,” said Gov. Jon S. Corzine of New Jersey.

Critics contend that the new six-track annex under 34th Street is too deep and would be difficult for some people to escape during a fire. They also say that passengers whose trains stop there would have to walk an extra full block to get to Penn Station, where they would be able to catch subways running on the West Side of Manhattan.

TonyO
January 15th, 2009, 11:03 AM
^ This is good news. It's amazing that the push to get infrastructure projects moving comes in a downturn as opposed to when everyone is living fat and happy.

JCMAN320
January 30th, 2009, 07:53 PM
ARC tunnel OK, PATH is better

Thursday, January 29, 2009

One of the reasons those small commuter shuttle buses are popular in Hudson County is that there is no inexpensive alternative for people to travel across the Hudson River.

Regular commuter bus rates are increasing and the ferry costs even more. An exception is the PATH rail service, which this newspaper has argued should expand its services into other communities with a possible third tunnel to Manhattan.

Instead, urban areas along the river are being ignored in favor of the suburbs and a second commuter rail tunnel - part of the Access to the Region's Core (ARC) plan-to Manhattan's Penn Station. Some argue the ARC tunnel would make a helpful addition, but the PATH expansion will help residents in Essex, Hudson and even Union counties.

Politicians, labor unions and even newspaper editorial boards are championing the ARC tunnel, which will overlap existing rail service and is expected to double the number of trains to and from a yet to be expanded Penn Station in Manhattan.

The big pitch is that it will reduce traffic on the bridges and tunnels and improve air pollution. This is similar to a developer's claim that construction of skyscrapers will reduce local taxes - something that never happens.

ARC tunnel enthusiasts point out that the existing rail tunnel is nearly a century old and needs constant maintenance. Well, a good part of the PATH line tunnels are older.

The Port Authority is touting that it will improve PATH service by spending $3 billion over the next 10 years to replace its fleet of PATH trains, upgrade stations and replace mechanical signals with computerized ones. Thank you, but that was the plan at the end of the last century before terrorist attacks on 9/11 forced the Port Authority to use its funding for repairs.

Meanwhile, PATH ridership hit about 75 million last year, an increase of more than three million over 2007. It is the highest number since the Port Authority took over the "Hudson Tubes" in 1962. Yes, the increase coincides with toll hikes at bridges and tunnels and record high gas prices, but what makes anyone think that those trends will not continue?

Start planning for expanding PATH services now.

ZenSteelDude
April 17th, 2009, 05:45 PM
Thursday April 16th the contract for the first phase of the Tunnel, the Tonnelle Ave. (Routes 1&9) underpass, has been awarded for $13.58 million, $1.6 million BELOW the projected cost .

It's the economy.

PS: The Feds coughed up $3.7 billion for the entire project estimated to cost about $10.5 billion.

ZenSteelDude
April 19th, 2009, 12:47 PM
The red line is the approximate location of the new ARC tracks . The new overpass is the blue outline and the buildings outlined in yellow (a warehouse and a McDonald's) are to be torn down.

stache
April 19th, 2009, 05:32 PM
Zen, what is that cross street to Tonnelle?

ZenSteelDude
April 19th, 2009, 07:35 PM
I'm not sure I understand the question. Maybe these well answer it.

stache
April 20th, 2009, 02:23 AM
Looks like about 25th. St.

ZenSteelDude
May 3rd, 2009, 01:27 PM
Todays Sunday Star Ledger has a long article about the ARC project.

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-13/1241323551147150.xml&coll=1

"Sometime next month, the nation's biggest mass transit construction project in generations will begin, modestly, in North Bergen, where earth-moving machines will carve out an underpass beneath busy Routes 1&9."

BrooklynRider
May 4th, 2009, 12:22 AM
I was on an interview last week with the firm with the engineering contract. Huge project.

stache
May 4th, 2009, 02:44 AM
Was that the guy in Newark?

BrooklynRider
May 7th, 2009, 12:08 AM
Yes. A couple of firms have been awarded contracts on this.

TonyO
May 8th, 2009, 03:43 PM
NJ.com
Editorial

ARC rail tunnel

Thursday, May 07, 2009
BY JEFF TITTEL

The Sierra Club is a longtime supporter of the concept of a new rail tunnel connecting New Jersey to New York. However, we are concerned that the project, commonly known as ARC, or Ac cess to the Region's Core, has changed significantly over time.

Originally, the ARC project was designed to serve several purposes. First, the plan intended to create another tunnel into New York City. There were other important goals, including providing New Jersey commuters access to Grand Central Terminal and to the East Side of Manhattan, creating a backup tunnel for Amtrak that would service Penn Station or the new Moyni han Station, and enabling trains to travel from one area of the metropolitan region to another. For example, the original design of the project allowed trains from Long Island to pass through New Jersey, and vice versa.
Advertisement





To our dismay, the tunnel now meets only the first of the goals and not the other four. Instead of connecting to Penn Station or the new Moynihan Station, the tunnel dead-ends 180 feet below the ground, two blocks from Penn Station. Because of this, some now call this project "the tunnel to Macy's basement."

We are concerned that this configuration will undermine good transportation planning for the region. By being located so deep below ground, the tunnel may deter people from using it and could be a risk in the event of an emergency. It will take passengers five to 10 minutes longer to get to the surface and even longer to get to Penn Station. As proposed, to get to ground level, passengers will have to travel the equivalent of 20 stories via a series of escalators that will be longer than two football fields. This labyrinth of tunnels will be more reminiscent of a corn maze than a train station.

Besides the long travel time involved in getting to ground levels and the added risk during an emer gency, we think the configuration as planned will be confusing for passengers. For example, NJ Transit will continue to use Penn Station in addition to the tunnel station. At rush hour, when many trains are arriving and departing, this may generate confusion among passengers, who will have to determine if they are leaving from Penn Station or the tunnel station two blocks away.

Once they figure out their de parture location, passengers then will have to navigate the series of underground walkways. This complicated scenario also applies for those connecting to the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Rail road or the New York subway. One of the options NJ Transit is considering in order to alleviate the confusion is to have all train lines go to Penn Station except the two Ber gen Lines, which will use the new tunnel. The Bergen Line would then be the railroad from Xanadu to Macy's basement. This project seems to be more about pay-to- play and overdevelopment in the Meadowlands. There has been very little public input and virtually no local review by the communities affected in New Jersey.

Currently, there are five major proposals for the expansion of train service in and out of midtown Manhattan. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is working to extend the No. 7 subway line, which will go right above the NJ Transit tunnel. The Long Island Rail Road wants to provide access to the East Side. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is pushing for the new Moynihan Station in Midtown. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-Manhattan, wants to establish a freight rail tunnel to displace traffic from the roads. Then there's the NJ Transit tunnel proposal. Each project is expecting, and actively seeking, federal dol lars.

The fact that all of these projects are within a few blocks of each other demonstrates the lack of collaboration that exists in improving the region's transportation. Instead of a cohesive plan, we have created a mishmash of disjointed ideas. Each organization is acting like a bunch of children who don't want the others to touch their train set. While all are good projects, none connect to each other or even consider each other in the planning process.

Some of the options that should be considered to allow for East Side access would be to have a train station so passengers can connect with the No. 7 train or design the tunnel so the 7 train will go right through, out to Secaucus Junction. The tunnel should meet up with the Moynihan station so as to allow access to through trains.

We strongly believe that a coordinated plan for transportation is essential to improving public transportation access. New York Gov. David Paterson and New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, along with Mayor Bloomberg and Sens. Schumer; Frank Lautenberg, D- N.J.; Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood should sit down together and develop a comprehen sive plan that constructively brings all of these projects together. The establishment of a regional transportation board, not five agencies that deal with transportation, should also be considered.

Through collaboration and consolidation, effective solutions, such as linking tunnels to the new stations and allowing access for all regional rail lines, can be established. That would mean real access to the region's core, as was intended originally. We agree that an additional rail tunnel is needed to improve ac cess to the region's core, but it must be done right. It took us 50 years to get to this point; we can't wait another 50 years for an effective solution.

Jeff Tittel is director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
http://www.nj.com/opinion/times/oped/index.ssf?/base/news-0/124170633479090.xml&coll=5

BrooklynRider
May 11th, 2009, 03:03 PM
Is it possible that this project envisions connecting to th "new Penn Station". In that scenarior, NJ Transit is actually two blocks south of the current station - or - could it be stopping to accomodate the #7 Train station at 34th Street and its extension for maintenance facilities?

STT757
May 11th, 2009, 04:35 PM
Is it possible that this project envisions connecting to th "new Penn Station". In that scenarior, NJ Transit is actually two blocks south of the current station - or - could it be stopping to accomodate the #7 Train station at 34th Street and its extension for maintenance facilities?

The problem with the project as it's now planned as shovels go into the ground is that it reaches Manhattan way too deep, they had to go deep for a couple of reasons. First to avoid the 7 train extension (the city did not coordinate with the ARC project, and they rammed their plan through even thought ARC has been in planning for a longer period of time and frankly the ARC project is much more important), second they decided to tunnel beneath the Seawall vs drilling through it due to cost and engineering issues, and finally there were issues with the soil underneath 34th street that made them go deeper. Being so deep trains cannot reach the current Penn Station level (which includes the Farely Building) because the grade the trains would have to climb would make it unsuitable for heavy rail operations.

They thus decided to go with the deep cavern station 150ft below 34th street, it will be connected to Penn Station via escalators and tunnels. It will also be connected to the PATH and all the subway lines in the area all the way over to the N train.

The lack of connection to Penn station means no through trains, as trains come in they have to back out to New Jersey. This eliminates the potential utilization of the new tunnels by Amtrak. People are making a huge issue of the lack of a connection to the existing Penn Station, if they could address this without delaying the project I'm all for it.

As for the Grand Central connection, New York refused to let the ARC project tunnel underneath the existing Water tunnel. When the new Water tunnel is complete then a connection to Grand Central can be built.

As per the Port Authority CHairman:


Ward added that when the ongoing construction of the third water tunnel is complete, he anticipates ARC’s extension to Grand Central.

http://www.chelseanow.com/cn_122/ambitiousarc.html

STT757
June 1st, 2009, 10:48 AM
June 8th, 2009

Groundbreaking;

http://www.njtransit.com/hp/hp_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=HomePageTo

TonyO
June 8th, 2009, 07:33 AM
NY Times

Groundbreaking Set for New Jersey Transit Tunnel Under Hudson

By PATRICK McGEEHAN
Published: June 7, 2009

New Jersey officials have been planning the next train tunnel under the Hudson River for so long that it is already on its third name. This month, work is scheduled to begin on the Mass Transit Tunnel — formerly known as the Trans-Hudson Express and, before that, Access to the Region’s Core — more than 15 years after it was conceived.

A ceremonial groundbreaking was set for Monday alongside a highway in North Bergen, N.J., the site of the first small piece of what could be the biggest transit project in the country. The tunnel, which is expected to take eight years to complete, bears a current price tag of $8.7 billion. That is about $6 billion less than the so-called Big Dig highway tunnel in Boston cost but about $6 billion more than the project’s original price.

By getting started this month, the tunnel project will qualify for $130 million in federal money from the economic stimulus package President Obama signed in mid-February. The project’s planners, who estimate that it will create more than 5,600 construction jobs, are hoping to receive an additional $3 billion in federal money.

“In addition to creating thousands of jobs and promoting mobility and regional competitiveness in the global economy for decades to come, the Mass Transit Tunnel will provide enormous environmental benefits by taking thousands of cars off the road,” said New Jersey’s governor, Jon S. Corzine, who has been one of the project’s most ardent champions.

The project, however, does have environmental costs, and would “destroy between 19 to 25 acres of wetlands and open waters and approximately 112 acres of upland natural areas including 1.7 acres of forest,” according to a decision from the Federal Transit Administration.

The Hudson tunnel was designed to help ease the jam-packed rides that rail commuters from the west have long endured. New Jersey Transit, which runs as many as 23 trains an hour through a century-old tunnel into Pennsylvania Station in New York, has said that it is nearing maximum capacity. The riders of those trains share Penn Station with passengers of the Long Island Rail Road and Amtrak.

The solution, elected officials, labor unions and business groups agree, is to bore a second tunnel through the Hudson Palisades, under the river and into the bedrock of Manhattan. That tunnel would bring trains from the suburbs of North Jersey and would end in a bilevel station to be built about 180 feet below 34th Street between Sixth and Eighth Avenues.

That station, dubbed the Penn Station Expansion, was originally designed to connect to Penn Station so that Amtrak and New Jersey Transit would have another route in and out of New York. But the project’s planners threw out that idea when they decided that they needed to cut much deeper under the city.

Politically, the planners at New Jersey Transit are taking a path of less resistance in their quest to pull off a giant public works project in another state. One reason they chose to dig deeper was to avoid the tracks the Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to lay down on the West Side for the extension of the No. 7 subway line. They also abandoned plans to extend the station under Macy’s flagship store on the north side of 34th Street after Macy’s executives protested.

Now Macy’s is endorsing the project, as are New Jersey’s two United States senators and several influential organizations, including the Regional Plan Association and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.

But the project’s sponsors have not placated all critics.

Some mass transit advocates have insisted that the tunnel connect to either Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal, or both, to be useful to many of the commuters. Others have argued that the proposed station, 18 stories below ground, will be too difficult to evacuate in a fire or other emergency.

Residents of some towns along New Jersey Transit’s rail lines, like Summit, have complained about being rerouted from Penn Station to the new station. And some property owners in the city have sounded off about the prospect of losing their land because an out-of-state transit agency has designs on it. New Jersey Transit plans to obtain more than a dozen pieces of property in Manhattan as sites for station entrances, air shafts and fan plants. It estimated that those acquisitions were worth about $29 million and would eliminate 178 jobs in the city.

Among them, according to project documents, would be seven positions at the Blarney Rock Pub on West 33rd Street near Madison Square Garden. Tom Dwyer, whose family has run the Blarney Rock for 40 years, sent an e-mail message last year to the project’s planners pleading with them to take a neighboring sex shop called Peep World instead. He said he had been told that that building was less suitable because of some adjacent windows.

“Windows!!” Mr. Dwyer wrote. “The engineers can cut through solid rock a hundred feet under ground and under water but they can’t deal with some windows.”

New Jersey Transit has begun the process of selecting companies to tunnel under Manhattan, work that is scheduled to begin next year.

TonyO
June 8th, 2009, 07:35 AM
^ $8 Billion and they want to terminate the tunnel at a new station with no connection to Penn Station. That is insane. The governor(s) need to step in and put their foot down on this.

stache
June 8th, 2009, 09:45 AM
It means you would have to figure out in advance which station your train was leaving from.

STT757
June 8th, 2009, 12:13 PM
It means you would have to figure out in advance which station your train was leaving from.

No, different lines will go to different stations:

All Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line and Raritan Valley line trains will go to the current Penn Station.

All Bergen, Main Line, Morris & Essex, Montclair, Pascack Valley, Port Jervis trains will use the new 34th street terminal.

ablarc
June 8th, 2009, 05:49 PM
^ Clear as mud.

ASchwarz
June 9th, 2009, 06:46 PM
Why does it matter? It's basically the same station, just different platforms.

The old and new stations will all be connected.

lofter1
June 9th, 2009, 07:28 PM
Is there a nice simple map of the planned new station and how it is situated in regard to Penn that someone could post a link to or post an image of?

STT757
June 10th, 2009, 11:09 AM
Is there a nice simple map of the planned new station and how it is situated in regard to Penn that someone could post a link to or post an image of?

I don't if these help but there are some maps showing where the station will be in Manhattan:

http://www.arctunnel.com/pdf/feis/02_0_project_alternatives_feis.pdf

lofter1
June 10th, 2009, 11:37 AM
Thanks ^

Even though it's labeled "Project Alternatives" it looks like it's all gonna be part of Penn Station -- expanded to the west and below.

STT757
June 10th, 2009, 12:02 PM
Thanks ^

Even though it's labeled "Project Alternatives" it looks like it's all gonna be part of Penn Station -- expanded to the west and below.

No those alternatives were rejected, they're going to build the new station underneath 34th street (North) of the current Penn Station. The alternative to build under the current Penn Station (Alternative P) and the alternative to build South of the current Penn Station (Alternative S) were rejected in favor of the current plan.

They had a more detailed PDF that include renderings of the new station locations, their design as well as the fan plants. That PDF has been taken down, I assume it's because the properties have yet to be acquired. The Port Authority is acquiring the properties in Manhattan for the Fan plants and station entrances.

Here's another PDF with Figure D showing the station entrance (purple squares) and the fan plant locations (yellow squares) will be located.

http://www.arctunnel.com/pdf/library/attachment_a_arc_programmatic_agreement.pdf

The vid

ASchwarz
June 11th, 2009, 04:04 PM
^
But it's still all connected. You won't have to walk outside or anything.

It's basically the same station, even if maybe they will have different names to the two sides.

ZippyTheChimp
June 11th, 2009, 04:12 PM
It won't be connected as far as tracks are concerned, so it's not the same station. That's the flaw they're talking about.

ASchwarz
June 11th, 2009, 06:20 PM
IMO that is not a flaw to the average rider. The destination is the same. And it's irrelevent anyways, because it can't be done without wild increases in cost, which would never be approved for such a marginal benefit.

Also I don't see why this wouldn't mean they're part of the same terminal. The LIRR to Grand Central is not connected to the Metro North to Grand Central, but they're still the same station.

ZippyTheChimp
June 11th, 2009, 06:53 PM
I'm talking about future flexibility in moving trains through Penn Station. Broadening options. Your scope is narrow if you're only thinking about passengers whose destination is Penn Station.

See posts 143 and 147.

STT757
June 11th, 2009, 10:05 PM
The loss of the direct rail connection to the current Penn Station complex is a set back, especially for Amtrak. NJ Transit's post new tunnel service plan calls for giving back to Amtrak one additional slot per hour, that's not much but it's something.

As for Grand Central Terminal, the Executive Director of the Port Authority Christopher Ward mentioned in a New York Times Q&A a month or so ago that once NYC finishes it's new Water tunnel that construction of a connection between the new 34th street station and Grand Central can proceed. Currently the City does not want construction too close to the aging water tunnels for fear of disabling them, however when the new Water tunnel is completed (2020?) they would be willing to allow construction of a Grand Central link to proceed.

Basically from what I've read the TBM is going to be left in place underneath 34th street when the new Hudson tunnel project is complete in 2017, from 2020 on (Water Tunnel #3 completion date) New Jersey and the Port Authority could pursue extending the new rail tunnels to underneath Grand Central Terminal.

lofter1
June 11th, 2009, 10:18 PM
The Third Water Water Tunnel (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2933) excavation is 500+ feet under the ground. The surface <> tunnel access points / shafts on the west side are at 26 / Eleventh Avenue & 46th / Tenth Avenue. How does that interfer with the rail tunnel?

scumonkey
June 11th, 2009, 10:24 PM
How does that interfer with the rail tunnel?
correct me if i'm wrong but...
He didn't say it did.
Sounds like they want to finish the new water tunnel first, so if anything happened to the "OLD" ones we already have...

STT757
June 11th, 2009, 10:30 PM
correct me if i'm wrong but...
He didn't say it did.
Sounds like they want to finish the new water tunnel first, so if anything happened to the "OLD" ones we already have...

That's right, they don't want to lose one of the two current tunnels because of some vibration or whatever from the construction of the rail tunnels. When the new 3rd tunnel is complete they will have the redundancy in place to be able to tolerate construction of the rail tunnel from NYPE to Grand Central.

I'll find the comments..

ZenSteelDude
June 12th, 2009, 11:49 PM
Please speak up if there is a flaw in my thinking, ... They are not going to connect with the old tunnel west of Old Penn but, would it be just as good for the new penn station to connect with the tracks east of Old Penn, west of Sunnyside yard ? Amtrak could use the new station for through trains the LIRR could also use it. It seems to me that this would solve several problems. Course they should also help pay for the connection.


Just an off topic after thought. The New Croton aqueduct is being rebuilt at this time. The Old Croton was finished in 1842, New Croton was finished in 1887.

STT757
June 14th, 2009, 06:14 PM
Please speak up if there is a flaw in my thinking, ... They are not going to connect with the old tunnel west of Old Penn but, would it be just as good for the new penn station to connect with the tracks east of Old Penn, west of Sunnyside yard ? Amtrak could use the new station for through trains the LIRR could also use it. It seems to me that this would solve several problems. Course they should also help pay for the connection.


Just an off topic after thought. The New Croton aqueduct is being rebuilt at this time. The Old Croton was finished in 1842, New Croton was finished in 1887.

Again the problem with the new 34th street station is it's too deep, I've heard 19 stories below 34th but don't quote me. That would make it way to deep to connect with the current Penn Station or the Amtrak/LIRR tunnels from Manhattan to Queens.

If they extend the new tunnels to Grand Central it would be to another new station beneath Grand Central, ala the LIRR's East Side Access. But for several reasons I don't believe that if they ever did extend the NJ Transit tunnels to Grand Central that they would be able to tie into the LIRR's tunnels. I don't think NJ Transit's equipment which is powered by over head cantenary can squeeze into the LIRR ESA tunnels which are using EMU's powered by third rail.

stache
June 14th, 2009, 10:22 PM
You would have to transfer.

ZenSteelDude
June 21st, 2009, 02:50 PM
NJ Transit uses the same 25kvolt overhead as Amtrak, so there would be no problem there. The LIRR 3rd rail is just a slight obstacle, there have been many multi-voltage multi-power collection locomotives in the past.


The grade for the New Jersey side on the prints is stated as 1.9% for the decent to get under the river. I see no problem with grades as steep as 2% for the accent on the Manhattan side even for freight trains. (as if CSX or NS is ever going to use the tracks !!!! They have Hell Gate bridge to access LI )

ZenSteelDude
September 2nd, 2009, 09:51 AM
Got some more prints yesterday. There is a note on the east end of the new penn. "Future Eastward expansion" :)

stache
September 2nd, 2009, 11:33 AM
It would be great if they could combine this somehow with a subway and make a 34th. St. crosstown.

futurecity
September 7th, 2009, 05:32 PM
A through line would be a good investment for the future. Its a shame that plans are not being made to integrate the different systems. The ability to have a line from NJ to LI or westchester direct without transfers would help bring the region together and allow for a greater integrated metro area.

stache
September 7th, 2009, 06:45 PM
I think they will have to integrate the fare systems/media first, then they will be able to work on making fewer transfers.

ZenSteelDude
September 8th, 2009, 10:00 PM
It would be nice if a standard for electric rail lines were set. First I would do away with 3rd rail except for subways, that would solve 99% of metro norths problems. Next I would make 25KV AC standard for overhead power. If NJ Transit can convert from 3KV DC to 25KV AC I don't see why the rest of the regions systems can't.

If 10 cents of every federal transportation dollar were spent on rail we would be MUCH better off. Far cheaper than dumping billions into highway widening.

ZenSteelDude
February 9th, 2010, 06:48 PM
Hummm, this forum kinda died.

The contracts for the Manhattan side and the Jersey side have been awarded.

That just leaves the River section.

This project is design/build so I expect the time between award and ground breaking to be longer than a normal contract.

We could have TBMs working by the end of the year !!!!

TBM= tunnel boring machine

PS: the TBMs well be cutting some of the hardest rock on earth (The Palisades escarpment and good old Manhattan Schist)

newarkdevil1
February 25th, 2010, 06:51 PM
Makes me want more episodes on History/discovery on the boring and blasting process. I would hope that people in NY/NJ would realize the benefit of extending the rails to the east.

Zoe
February 25th, 2010, 07:37 PM
Here is an idea for this project: where they are dropping the boaring machines for this (in north Hoboken, they should create a station there. You could then tie the hudson/bergen lightrail into this newly created stop which would put you one stop and 5 minutes from mid-town. Not every train would stop, every other or so would pull off into this station.

They are already digging an enormous hole there and it looks to be very close to the lightrail tracks...so what am I missing on this one?

newarkdevil1
February 25th, 2010, 10:03 PM
I would think it has to with capacity utilization and vs cost. NJ transit doesn't seem to love their light rail operations and it seems they are looking at this as a way to increase ridership out of the Bergen region by providing one stop service.

ForestHillsGardens
February 26th, 2010, 12:03 AM
@Zoe:
Actually, it is a good idea. But there is an alternative, PATH has gotten it taked care of, as well as the Light Rail already has connection to PATH via the Hoboken Terminal. It would be not logical, money-wise.

Although, an ARC Hoboken Station could be targeted to people who fancy premium rail service, :p.

JCMAN320
February 26th, 2010, 12:43 AM
Newarkdevil how can you say that they don't love their lightrail service? The Hudson-Bergen lightrail has become a national model of how to build light rail and how it boosts economic development. Also all they keep doing is talking about expanding the HBLR. It's currently being expanded down to 8th St. in the Bergen Point section of Bayonne and they are actively doing a feasibility study of expanding it across NJ 440 in Jersey City. Also don't forget they are doing the preliminary design work for the North Branch extension into Bergen County.

If you are basing that on the NLR, then you have a point. They have zero interest in doing anything with it. They say they want expansion but don't put the funding in place; yet they have it for the HBLR?

Nexis4Jersey
February 26th, 2010, 09:46 AM
The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system will extend to Secacuse JCT by 2014 and tie into the Rail network. 2 years before the tunnel is completed 3 more lines will be restored , the West Shore Line (Secacuse JCT - Haverstraw along the CSX line , needs to be double tracked and electrified.) The Lackawanna Cutoff (first phase to Andover opens in June the whole project by 2013 Andover-Scranton) and the Monmouth - Ocean - Middlesex networks by 2017 will tie into the North Jersey Coastal & Northeast Corridor lines. NJT loves there Light Rail , the network in 2 years will be maxed out at 100,000 people daily.

Marv95
February 26th, 2010, 10:39 AM
Then what about the NCS and the Riverline?

newarkdevil1
February 26th, 2010, 12:51 PM
It's important to note where funding comes from for these projects in direct correlation to how it's viewed by NJtranist. NJtransit prefers buses because they are flexible and a much lighter investment than rail. Most of the light rail especially the HBLR was funded federally via solictation by Menedez. I am personally bitter because Newark's representatives have done a piss poor job of drawing funding for this. As for HBLR, Menedez has continued to get federal dollars so I could see that continue to be extended as long as he is in office. As for the Riverline, that is just political balance, you can't do 2-3 major projects in Northern NJ without having to give back. Either way the bias is at the state political level, since we won't raise our gas tax but will raise transit fairs.

ZenSteelDude
March 21st, 2010, 02:14 PM
I just noticed that the forum title has Proposed: Hudson Rail Tunnel, it should be changed to read Under Construction.

Merry
March 25th, 2010, 09:55 PM
Citibank Branch Property Is in Tunnel Planners’ Sights

By PATRICK McGEEHAN

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/03/25/nyregion/25tunnel_CA0/25tunnel_CA0-popup.jpg

New Yorkers who would like to see the number of bank branches in the city reduced at any cost may have a new reason to support efforts to build an $8.7 billion train tunnel between Manhattan and New Jersey.

The tunnel’s planners have decided that they need to demolish an 80-year-old building that houses a Citibank branch at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue, one of the busiest intersections in Midtown. The four-story bank has been added to the list of properties in Manhattan that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plans to acquire, either directly from the owners or by invoking eminent domain, to make way for the tunnel and a terminal deep beneath 34th Street.

The Port Authority has pledged to spend $3 billion on the tunnel, which is the most expensive public-transit project under way in the country. New Jersey Transit, the lead agency on the project, broke ground on the western end of the tunnel last year and has issued contracts for digging on each side of the Hudson River.

New Jersey Transit has no authority to take private property in the city. So acquiring the land needed for entrances and air shafts has been left to the Port Authority, which has begun buying lots and making offers for buildings that stand in the path of the project. The planners had intended to use part of the Citibank building as one of five entrances to the new terminal, as well as Pennsylvania Station and the subway, but to leave the rest of the building intact.

But after additional engineering studies, they determined that the building would have to be demolished, said Ron Marsico, a Port Authority spokesman. Mr. Marsico said the agency’s officials had had “amicable discussions” with Citibank and its co-owners in the building, which stands at the northwest corner of the intersection, just west of Macy’s flagship store. But he added that no formal offer had been made.

“We’d like to purchase it this year and allow Citibank to stay until it’s needed for construction,” Mr. Marsico said.

The planners said they could save more than $28 million by tearing the building down, a process that they estimated would cost about $10 million, not counting what they would pay for the property.

The branch is one of scores Citibank has in the city today, but it once was one of the few uptown locations of the National City Bank of New York, a predecessor of Citibank that had its headquarters on Wall Street. The building is in the Garment Center historic district (http://www.prlog.org/10171634-garment-center-historic-district-listed-on-the-national-register-of-historic-places.html), a 25-block section of Midtown on the National Register of Historic Places. But it does not have landmark status to protect it from being destroyed.

To mitigate its loss, the tunnel’s planners have proposed saving a few features of the building, including the bank’s seal carved above the doorway on 34th Street and a brass seal on the night deposit box, which was made by the Mosler Safe Company in Ohio. They said they would try to incorporate the salvaged elements into the underground station, which is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

As for the rest of the building, the planners have proposed taking large-format, black-and-white photographs of the exterior and certain interior features to be preserved in historical archives. This week, they opened up the demolition plan to public comments for one month.

The Port Authority is also seeking easements from the owners of the adjacent Nelson Tower (http://www.nyc-architecture.com/MID/MID143.htm), which, at 560 feet, was the tallest building in the garment district when it was finished in 1931. The project would intrude into parts of the lower levels of the building.

Among the other properties the Port Authority plans to acquire is a small storefront wedged into the Macy’s store at 34th Street and Broadway. That space, now occupied by a Sunglass Hut store, would be used for another entrance to the new terminal.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/nyregion/25tunnel.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=print

Merry
June 4th, 2010, 05:22 AM
Standing in a Giant Tunnel’s Path, and Forced to Leave

By PATRICK McGEEHAN

Christine A. Moore, a hat designer on 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan, is one of the unlucky 100. Like other businesses and landlords in the area, she has been warned that a giant tunnel-boring machine is coming to her neighborhood and that she will have to move as her building is marked for demolition.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey this week began to send letters to more than 3,000 occupants of a wide swath of the West Side that surrounds the path of one of the biggest public-works projects in the nation: an $8.7 billion commuter train tunnel (http://www.arctunnel.com/) under the Hudson River. The letters lay out the plan and schedule for construction of the tunnel — twin tunnels, actually — which will end at a new terminal deep under 34th Street at the foot of the Macy’s flagship store.

The Port Authority, which is a partner with New Jersey Transit in the project, is telling most of the recipients of the letters that they do not stand in the way of the project and, so, will not be directly affected by the construction. But Ms. Moore, her landlord and more than 90 other businesses or building owners are receiving a different message: The Port Authority wants all or part of your building and may invoke eminent domain law to acquire it.

That notice upset Ms. Moore, who has run her hat-making business out of a 900-square-foot space at 110 West 34th Street for 12 years. She said that she had been promised help in finding another location for her showroom but that she first had to adjust to the idea of being uprooted.

“The reality is, it’s going to happen,” Ms. Moore said. “But you need some time to adjust.”

Ms. Moore described the building, which is 12 stories, as a remnant of another era. The building is about 80 years old and has been managed for the last quarter-century by the Jemal family, which has owned and developed commercial buildings across the city. Its ground floor houses a Payless Shoe Source, and the upstairs tenants include clothing companies, travel agencies and doctors’ offices.

Most striking was Ms. Moore’s positive sentiment toward her landlords. “They’ve been very gracious landlords to small start-ups,” said Ms. Moore, who, even more surprisingly, characterized her rent as “very low.”

She said she doubted that O. R. Colan Associates, a company based in North Carolina that the Port Authority has hired to help with relocations, would be able to find her a similar space nearby.

“Where would you put me? Because I can’t go to Coney Island,” said Ms. Moore, whose hats are popular among women who attend horse races like the Belmont Stakes. “I can’t operate a fashion business from Coney Island.”

Originally, the plan for the tunnel project — known as Access to the Region’s Core — called for taking part of 110 West 34th for an entrance to the long escalators that would carry commuters down to the new terminal, 150 feet below street level. But after more study, engineers decided that the building could not remain standing, said Paul Wyckoff, a spokesman for the project.

Mr. Wyckoff and Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority, declined to characterize negotiations with the Jemals. Through another spokesman, the Jemals also declined to comment.

It will be a while before the Port Authority can take any of the property. First, it must hold a public hearing to explain the eminent domain process and give people a chance to comment about the project. The date for that hearing has not been set.

Along the way, officials of the authority have been negotiating with owners of seven properties that they want to acquire and seven others that they want to buy a portion of. If they strike deals, they could avoid potentially costly litigation.

“We’re going to make every effort to reach negotiated agreements with these property owners,” Mr. Sigmund said.

Ground was broken (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/nyregion/08tunnel.html) last summer at the west end of the tunnel in North Bergen, N.J. New Jersey Transit, whose commuter trains will run through the tunnels, has chosen a consortium to dig the Manhattan side of the tunnels, but work in the city is not expected to begin for several months. The Manhattan end of the project will begin with the construction of a shaft near the west end of 28th Street.

About a year later, according to one of the letters the Port Authority is sending out, “a tunnel boring machine begins steadily digging the tunnel and advancing to the north and east.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/04/nyregion/04tunnel.html?ref=nyregion

Sid
August 22nd, 2010, 11:20 PM
A through line would be a good investment for the future. Its a shame that plans are not being made to integrate the different systems. The ability to have a line from NJ to LI or westchester direct without transfers would help bring the region together and allow for a greater integrated metro area.

They have that in Toronto. Some of the trains that enter Union Station from the Lakeshore West line stop for 2-3 minutes at Union, then continue straight on to the Lakeshore East line. One can board a train at 6:12am in Hamilton and arrive in Oshawa at 8:26am without having to change trains.

lofter1
September 12th, 2010, 11:46 PM
New Jersey Halts Work On Tunnels To Midtown

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/nyregion/13tunnel.html?ref=nyregion)
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
September 12, 2010

New Jersey officials have abruptly halted new work on an ambitious $8.7 billion plan to build two new commuter rail tunnels beneath the Hudson River, raising concerns about the fate of a project that had been hailed as a potential savior for the region’s overcrowded mass transit system ...

FULL ARTICLE (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/nyregion/13tunnel.html?ref=nyregion)

stache
September 13th, 2010, 04:57 AM
^ This article provides a link to an interesting site - http://www.rpa.org/

Eugenious
October 5th, 2010, 07:52 PM
Sources Say New Jersey Gov. Christie to Pull Plug on Hudson River Tunnel
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
By Andrea Bernstein

http://parmenides.wnyc.org/media/photologue/photos/NJTransitTunnel.jpg

The $8.7 billion trans-Hudson river transit tunnel project is expected to be killed later this week by Gov. Chris Christie, according to several sources familiar with the project. Barring any last minute reprieve, Gov. Christie will announce later this week that he's pulling the plug on the transit tunnel, known as the ARC project, which would have connected New Jersey to Manhattan.

New Jersey has already committed $2.7 billion towards the project, with the rest coming from the federal government and the Port Authority. Construction got underway in June 2009, but last month, Christie halted the project, saying he wanted to review costs.

Now several sources say Christie has made up his mind that it's just too risky -- and that he needs the money for roads.

Speaking at a campaign event for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bill Brady of Illinois, Christie says he's made no decision -- but he made his thinking clear.

"I was alerted to the fact that there were potential for significant cost overruns, and New Jersey's broke. And the federal government made it clear that New Jersey will be on the hook for any cost overruns on the project," Christie says.

NJ Transit, the Port Authority, and the Federal Transit Administration declined to comment.

On Monday, New Jersey's top transportation official said the state might divert money from the ARC project to Garden State roadways. Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson told legislators that the state could reallocate more than $2 billion from the project.

"You've got that billion coming in, $100 million a year, that is rededicated, flexed to ARC," he said. "So if ARC didn't happen, there's a billion dollars, a pot of money, for roads and bridges and things like that."

But the region could lose $6 billion from the federal government and the Port Authority says those allocated funds are specific to the project. Simpson said the decision to continue or cancel the ARC tunnel would be made on its own merits.

Simpson made his comments before a legislative committee. The committee approved a $1.7 billion financing package, allowing work to resume on other road and bridge projects around the state after a one-day moratorium.

http://beta.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2010/oct/05/gov-chris-christie-to-pull-plug-on-hudson-tunnel/

stache
October 5th, 2010, 08:11 PM
Does anyone know what kind and how much work has been done on this so far?

arcman210
October 5th, 2010, 08:25 PM
I always thought this project was somewhat sketchy for NJ, especially after NJ highway tolls were raised to help finance it... In the long term it's going to benefit New York City and many Manhattan developers in many ways, and the state of NJ in very few. There's plenty of work to be done on in state infrastructure and that includes rail stations and new rail lines in state.

I think to date some site work on the NJ side has been done... no construction on the tunnel has taken place.

stache
October 5th, 2010, 08:53 PM
So no hole digging?

ZippyTheChimp
October 5th, 2010, 10:12 PM
Can 20 years of planning
really be derailed in 30 days?

October 5, 2010

By Juliette Michaelson, Senior Planner, and Thomas Wright, Executive Director, RPA

There is a reason that so few miles of new rail have been built in the region in the last 50 years. It's the same reason that tracks proposed to better connect Midtown with New Jersey (Access to the Region's Core), and with Long Island (East Side Access), as well as the proposed Second Avenue Subway, have all been two to six decades in the making. The reason is that these projects are extremely expensive and complicated to engineer and design, and that they require long-term commitments from federal, state, and local partners. In other words, they oblige elected leaders to look beyond short-term political calculations.

And so it is that ARC, a project that was first imagined in 1990, that has been carefully planned and designed since 1994, that is fully approved and funded by state, regional, and national governments, and for which $600 million in construction contracts has already been spent, is on the brink of being abandoned because Gov. Chris Christie, a budget-cutting, shake-up-the-establishment politician, does not have money to fill potholes come next summer when the Transportation Trust Fund runs dry. Suddenly, a project that has been 20 years in the making could be killed after just a 30-day "budget review."

This would be a tragedy. The most important industry in the Garden State is known as "commuting to New York City." About 275,000 New Jerseyans travel every day across the Hudson River. They bring home a disproportionate share of income, pay large income and property taxes, and create more jobs back home. And all of the ways that these commuters come into Manhattan -- NJ TRANSIT, PATH and the vehicular tunnels and bridges -- are at or near capacity. Building ARC will provide capacity for another 70,000 commuters from New Jersey -- specifically, from the communities that have the desire and the infrastructure to grow (Newark, Paterson, New Brunswick, etc.). And grow they will with ARC. New York City is going to continue adding jobs: it has the demand, the zoning, the capital, and is better connected to the global economy than anywhere else in the US. The question is, will New Jersey residents be able to get to them?

Unfortunately, Gov. Christie has inherited an urgent crisis in the state's Transportation Trust Fund. But the governor has already pledged not to raise gas taxes or tolls. Hence, the temptation to raid the "cookie jar" of ARC. The governor has said that it was ARC's potential cost overruns that were of concern to him, but word on the street is that his real motivation is to redirect money away from ARC to the TTF -- in other words, from transit to roads.

And yet, both the TTF and ARC are critical to the future of the state, and options exist to see them both through. Gov. Christie could continue to negotiate with the construction unions, which have already indicated a willingness to make concessions on their contracts. The Port Authority, a bi-state agency with long-range planning expertise and a core competency in building infrastructure, could also take over the project and assume any potential cost overruns. A compromise could also be negotiated, whereby Gov. Christie reallocated the revenue from future Turnpike toll increases ($1.25 billion) to the TTF and transit users funded the gap with a new "ARC Surcharge" on their fares. Finally, instead of worrying about potential cost overruns that may or may not materialize -- the contract bids that have come in so far are right on budget -- we could move forward with the financing plan we have in place now, and worry about budget overruns if and when they materialize.

If Gov. Christie is serious about killing ARC, then he must do his due diligence and determine the price that New Jersey's economy will be paying in terms of more delays and over-crowding on NJ TRANSIT trains, and the effect of poor transit service on individuals and businesses seeking to locate in New Jersey.

Thirty days may be long enough to kill ARC, but it is surely not enough time to devise a successful strategy to fund both the best-planned transit investment in the nation and the necessary maintenance of the state's road system. Before killing ARC, we call on Gov. Christie to extend the review period to 90 days, giving himself and other state leaders a meaningful chance to keep New Jersey competitive and sustainable.

© Regional Plan Association 2010

JCMAN320
October 6th, 2010, 05:40 AM
The death of a rail-tunnel project, and the problem with relying on Trenton

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/files/a-brown-arc.jpg
Rendering of a new 34th Street concourse, part of the plan.

By Eliot Brown
9:48 am Oct. 5, 2010 | Tweet this article

Last summer, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and federal transportation czar Peter Rogoff and about a million other politicians gathered outside a factory in North Bergen, N.J. to break ground (ceremonially) on one of the most ambitious transportation megaprojects the region has seen in decades.

Named "Access to the Region's Core," or A.R.C., the project would build a new tunnel under the Hudson River connecting New York City and northern New Jersey, allowing 80,000 new riders to gush into Manhattan every day to work in its offices. Lots of new train service to north Jersey suburbs would offer a one-seat ride to Manhattan-bound commuters in places like Passaic, Paterson, North Hackensack and Teterboro, increasing property values in these towns by a total of $18 billion, according to a study by the Regional Plan Association. New planned office towers in Manhattan, like the massive new office building Steve Roth's Vornado Realty Trust wants to build right next to Penn Station, and buildings planned for a platform above the West Side Railyards, would be injected with adrenaline in a sagging economy. Commuters would get a less crowded ride, and ever-growing Amtrak could fit more trains (for a few years) into at-capacity Penn Station. All at a cost of about $8.7 billion.

But despite a recent denial from New Jersey Transportation Commissioner James Simpson, advocates of the project and some state officials are telling the press that Corzine's Republican successor, Chris Christie, plans to put the project on the shelf in order to free money up to deal with his state's crippling debt. Just yesterday, the Democrat-led state legislature was forced to approve a $1.4 billion transportation bond issue only after the governor shut down all work on infrastructure and transportation projects throughout the state.

Advocates for the project say that the plug could be pulled on the A.R.C. project sometime this month.

The death of the project, if it comes, is one more demonstration of the problems that plague multi-state regional planning efforts. Here, as with countless other projects requiring the cooperation of New York and New Jersey governments, one state takes possession of a project to simplify the arcane funding process that plagues them. And the scale of the projects usually means that they reap the majority of their benefits in the long term—often with elected officials responsible for marshaling the projects finding their fates tied to more short-term concerns like the fiscal security of their voters. Ferrying along a project you didn't break ground on and probably won't get to cut the ribbon on, what's the motivation?

The funding structure and the politicians on both sides of the Hudson River typecast A.R.C. as a New Jersey project, despite the the way the influx of northern New Jersey workers could transform New York City's economy, making the city that much more desirable a place for large firms to set up shop. That means better prospects for real-estate developers, and an expanded tax base for New York City.

But despite the city's massive stake in the project, New York has been without a vote, and at the mercy of Trenton politics.

A BIT OF BACKGROUND: A.R.C. WAS CONCEIVED OF DECADES AGO, to be a new tunnel to complement the existing 100-year-old rail tunnels that lie under the Hudson River to midtown. With the suburbs of northern New Jersey growing, and with Penn Station and the existing tubes under the Hudson already at capacity during rush hour, planners turned to a new set of tunnels to expand capacity, calling for a new station to be built under 34th Street.

The Corzine administration championed the project for years, scrounging up the money from an already fiscally troubled state to make it happen. It raised $2.7 billion from state sources and directed another $3 billion from the New York/New Jersey-controlled Port Authority (which explicitly devoted a corresponding $2 billion to a New York project), and the federal government kicked in another $3 billion. By mid-2009, a groundbreaking, miraculously, had actually begun; contracts were awarded, and the region readied for its new tunnels.

When Christie first arrived, he seemed fine with ARC, letting the project continue despite dealing with a budget deficit more than one-fourth the size of the budget.

But in recent weeks, the federal government came back with new estimates of a higher cost for the project (Christie has said they could be between $2 billion and $5 billion), and the governor last month announced a 30-day review to weigh his options. Nearing his self-imposed deadline, the speculation is rampant that the governor will pull the plug completely, likely putting some of the money into the state’s broke Highway Trust Fund to fill the ever-increasing number of potholes that form when there is no money to fill them.

Christie has plenty of political cover here—he was elected as a corrective to years of Democratic budgetary excess, and has been lionized in New Jersey so far for loudly sticking it to anything perceived as bloat and special interests. Perhaps not surprisingly, there have been few cries of outrage from New Jersey over the reports that Christie is going to sink, or at least halt spending on, the tunnel. The project may be the region’s largest, and perhaps most impactful, transit initiative, but the payoff, to most voters, is both abstract and long-term. (This political situation also comes about in part because there is a split among rail advocates about the project, with many feeling A.R.C. is too much of a compromise plan to merit their support, a point that has some validity given that it does not connect to the existing Amtrak and NJ Transit lines in Manhattan).

Still, compared to the inevitable cacophony of resistance that would greet anyone who would try to scale back a major transit project on this side of the Hudson (In a time of fiscal crisis, the MTA is plodding away with over-budget $8 billion East Side Access, the Second Ave Subway and the $1.3 billion Fulton Street Transit Center, which adds no new capacity), the silence is notable.

Further, Christie had no great incentive to push for something that was not going to be his legacy project: He was not at that North Bergen groundbreaking, and, with a ribbon cutting targeted somewhere around 2018, he would not be there for the completion.

And the consituents in New York that would benefit from the project are not among Christie's voters; their own New York politicians are in no place to criticize, given that they have not put up money of their own.

If Christie pulls the plug, the best advocates for the project could hope for is a delay. But its rare for the existing funding on a project to remain intact through years of such delay. And that would probably be the end of A.R.C. With $600 million already spent on the project and the federal government having earmarked $3 billion to help with the costs, it's hard to imagine when the region will be able to round up that kind of money again, then redraft the plan, go through years of construction, and put a spade in the ground, for real this time.


http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2010/10/561185/death-rail-tunnel-project-and-problem-relying-trenton

Newarkguy
October 6th, 2010, 05:50 PM
NO, Juliette Michaelson, not "20 years" of planning! More like a 20 month change of plans...a second choice. A plan "B" that wasn't the tunnel's original purpose. This is not even the original project! The plan over a decade was to build 2 tunnels to the new Penn Station/Pat Moynahan station, currently a NYC post office,and a twin to the original Pennsylvania Station which was demolished for the MSG arena. From there, the tracks pass through the old MSG Penn station, where AMtrak will continue to stop. THEN...AH...the NJtransit tracks continued UNDER Manhattan to connect to the dead end platforms of GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL. Grand central becomes a through station and not a dead end. Theoretically, you can go from Newark or Philly to albany on the same train-one seat ride!! This would give NJ transit trains and Metro North more route options as well as extra platform room for trains. having their own tunnels gives NJT/Metro North more schedule flexibility and eliminates the need to be at AMTRAK's mercy. BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! INSTEAD Governor Corzine,instead of waiting for the impact studies of a link to Grand Central,rammed a compromise project to appease construction unions,and gain union voters before his failed reelection bid! This tunnel Christie should kill immediately!!! Instead of going to NY Penn Station(old or the proposed new one), it DIVES 200 feet below street level!! To a dead end yard with platforms. 200 feet below the Manhattan streets!! thats 25 to 30 stories underground! How will commuters reach their trains? By elevators??!! 20 flights of stairs or escalators? What if a terror attack happens? Hundreds of commuters dead from smoke inhalation and trampling trying to walk/run up 200 feet!!! In a fire, I understand that elevators usually are turned off.

Newarkguy
October 6th, 2010, 06:36 PM
Can 20 years of planning
really be derailed in 30 days?

October 5, 2010

By Juliette Michaelson, Senior Planner, and Thomas Wright, Executive Director, RPA

There is a reason that so few miles of new rail have been built in the region in the last 50 years. It's the same reason that tracks proposed to better connect Midtown with New Jersey (Access to the Region's Core), and with Long Island (East Side Access), as well as the proposed Second Avenue Subway, have all been two to six decades in the making. The reason is that these projects are extremely expensive and complicated to engineer and design, and that they require long-term commitments from federal, state, and local partners. In other words, they oblige elected leaders to look beyond short-term political calculations.

And so it is that ARC, a project that was first imagined in 1990, that has been carefully planned and designed since 1994, that is fully approved and funded by state, regional, and national governments, and for which $600 million in construction contracts has already been spent, is on the brink of being abandoned because Gov. Chris Christie, a budget-cutting, shake-up-the-establishment politician, does not have money to fill potholes come next summer when the Transportation Trust Fund runs dry. Suddenly, a project that has been 20 years in the making could be killed after just a 30-day "budget review."

This would be a tragedy. The most important industry in the Garden State is known as "commuting to New York City." About 275,000 New Jerseyans travel every day across the Hudson River. They bring home a disproportionate share of income, pay large income and property taxes, and create more jobs back home. And all of the ways that these commuters come into Manhattan -- NJ TRANSIT, PATH and the vehicular tunnels and bridges -- are at or near capacity. Building ARC will provide capacity for another 70,000 commuters from New Jersey -- specifically, from the communities that have the desire and the infrastructure to grow (Newark, Paterson, New Brunswick, etc.). And grow they will with ARC. New York City is going to continue adding jobs: it has the demand, the zoning, the capital, and is better connected to the global economy than anywhere else in the US. The question is, will New Jersey residents be able to get to them?

Unfortunately, Gov. Christie has inherited an urgent crisis in the state's Transportation Trust Fund. But the governor has already pledged not to raise gas taxes or tolls. Hence, the temptation to raid the "cookie jar" of ARC. The governor has said that it was ARC's potential cost overruns that were of concern to him, but word on the street is that his real motivation is to redirect money away from ARC to the TTF -- in other words, from transit to roads.

And yet, both the TTF and ARC are critical to the future of the state, and options exist to see them both through. Gov. Christie could continue to negotiate with the construction unions, which have already indicated a willingness to make concessions on their contracts. The Port Authority, a bi-state agency with long-range planning expertise and a core competency in building infrastructure, could also take over the project and assume any potential cost overruns. A compromise could also be negotiated, whereby Gov. Christie reallocated the revenue from future Turnpike toll increases ($1.25 billion) to the TTF and transit users funded the gap with a new "ARC Surcharge" on their fares. Finally, instead of worrying about potential cost overruns that may or may not materialize -- the contract bids that have come in so far are right on budget -- we could move forward with the financing plan we have in place now, and worry about budget overruns if and when they materialize.

If Gov. Christie is serious about killing ARC, then he must do his due diligence and determine the price that New Jersey's economy will be paying in terms of more delays and over-crowding on NJ TRANSIT trains, and the effect of poor transit service on individuals and businesses seeking to locate in New Jersey.

Thirty days may be long enough to kill ARC, but it is surely not enough time to devise a successful strategy to fund both the best-planned transit investment in the nation and the necessary maintenance of the state's road system. Before killing ARC, we call on Gov. Christie to extend the review period to 90 days, giving himself and other state leaders a meaningful chance to keep New Jersey competitive and sustainable.

© Regional Plan Association 2010
Juliette Michaelson either is a democrat party hack, or... she's unaware this is no longer the project she describes!!(yeah, right!)
Juliette thinks that the tunnel will link Penn station.
No longer true. The tracks are to dead end DEEP under NY penn station. No tracks will never connect to Penn station tracks.There will be a minimum of 200 feet elevation change between present NYPenn tracks ,and the NJT tracks.
Juliette THEN claims that it would link to Grand central/LIRR East side access..A BOLD FACE LIE!! Juliette mentions all these non related projects (what does 2nd ave subway have to do with ARC?)to confuse the fact that ARC in its new form goes nowhere.
again, the tracks for the new tunnel will dead end 200-300 feet (I keep reading different)under the present NJT station UNDER MSG/Penn station!!
The tunnel project in its new form(corzine version) never connects to any NY railroads!!!
Ms Michaelson, do you think most of us are stupid? Why are you LYING by claiming that 20 years of planning are going down the drain?
You KNOW in your heart that this is NOT the project planned 20 years and counting....YOU KNOW that this is the plan B that ex Governor(Democrat)Jon Corzine rushed just before the elections.
You Knew that the connection to new Pat Moynahan/Penn and Gran Central would take a little more time to approve, and get federal funding.yet Corzine wanted something to show off to unions before the reelection attempt.
Yet, you lie to us and say that 20 years of planning go down the drain...you HIPPOCRITE! I tell you, if Chris Christie were a Democrat...YOU would be for the stoppage on the grounds that it does not link to NYPenn or Grand Central.
This is no longer ARC/ACCESS to the region's core. It by-pases the core(NYPENN/Grand Central) 300 feet below! Juliette Michaelson(Democrat) head of the Regional Planning Authority,is willing to allow a faulty tunnel project to spite REPUBLICAN Governor Christie....word is that Trenton/Christie may try to dissolve the RPA. This is all political Football!

ASchwarz
October 7th, 2010, 03:19 PM
NewarkGuy, you are making no sense. All your suggestions would make the project even more complex, expensive, and convoluted.

No, one cannot add a level to Penn Station because of engineering constrainsts.

No, one cannot build a shallower station because of infrastructure issues.

No, one cannot connect to Grand Central unless you want to double the cost.

The plan, while imperfect, was a good one, and I hope it can be revived once Christie is defeated in two years. He already cost the State a giant amount of lost federal funds, thanks to his buffonery in regards to education and transit funding.

Marv95
October 7th, 2010, 05:00 PM
I have still not heard of any valid reasons why this project would be beneficial to the overall economic growth of New Jersey. Why should the state pay for something that would mainly benefit NYC? Especially since it's broke?

66nexus
October 7th, 2010, 05:05 PM
I'm torn on this. On the one hand: trains to NY are running at max capacity, jobs would be created, the fed is sending a nice chunk of change for the project.

BUT----------

......................On the other hand: what good is all that if you don't have the money? How would NJ recoup the money spent (which the new debt would only make the existing debt situation worse.

JCMAN320
October 7th, 2010, 05:38 PM
I have still not heard of any valid reasons why this project would be beneficial to the overall economic growth of New Jersey. Why should the state pay for something that would mainly benefit NYC? Especially since it's broke?

Marv as much a Jersey patriot as I am, most of the regions jobs and headquarters are located in Manhattan. Yes a majority of the back office space in the region is located in Jersey City followed by Brooklyn; still most of the jobs are in Manhattan. This tunnel benefits us because it keeps us competitive with the rest of the region. A majority of the commuters come from New Jersey to work in the City. If it becomes harder to get into the City those people will simply move to an area with easier access such as the Northern Suburbs or LI (especially since they are building a second tunnel to Grand Central). It keeps the higher incomes in New Jersey which in the long run is good for the State.

This is vital for the region and while imperfect with no connection to Grand Central, it does increase trains going into the city and at the same time trains coming into New Jersey. It will get more cars off of the GWB, LT, and HT. It might also help the PATH ease crowding during rush hour. There are benefits to this project. Christie is a blowhard who never fails to spite this State while at the same time thinking hes spiting every democrat.

ASchwarz
October 7th, 2010, 06:04 PM
I have still not heard of any valid reasons why this project would be beneficial to the overall economic growth of New Jersey.

Uh, maybe because Manhattan has the highest concentration of jobs on earth, and NJ has millions of folks living in nice suburbs who want access to those jobs?

All this does is kill NJ's economy by forcing the best and brightest to NY or CT. Why would I live in Short Hills over Scarsdale if I can't even get to work?

When Midtown Direct service started a decade ago, property values and incomes soared in Northern NJ, simply because places like Montclair now had direct access to tons of highly-paid jobs. Before, these folks would have never lived in NJ.


Why should the state pay for something that would mainly benefit NYC? Especially since it's broke?

1. NJ isn't paying for it. The Feds are paying the biggest chunk, NJ is paying for some, and even NY State is paying a decent chunk (over 1 billion). And NJ is hardly broke.

2. How would it mainly benefit NYC? It has relatively little impact on NYC. The same workers and jobs will still be in the region, but they will choose NY or CT instead of NJ, because they can't get to work from NJ.

This project will eventually get done, because there is no choice but to build the tunnel. I doubt NJ wants to be a Northeastern version of Mississippi, with no jobs and no higher income folks.

I guess we'll have to wait 2 years for a new governor, and then start things up again (factoring in a couple extra billion thanks to Christie).

ASchwarz
October 7th, 2010, 06:08 PM
......................On the other hand: what good is all that if you don't have the money? How would NJ recoup the money spent (which the new debt would only make the existing debt situation worse.

There are plenty of ways to deal with this. NJ has some of the nation's lowest gas taxes.

NJ also recently eliminated the millionaire's tax. Why, exactly? Income taxes on the wealthy are already lower in NJ than in neighboring states.

Or, NJ could rearrange its priorities and spend a little more on transit and a little less on roads.

Marv95
October 7th, 2010, 06:10 PM
I thought the state was paying for the majority of it? If/since that's the case, why spend state money to outsource jobs to Manhattan? Does that make any sense at all? Manhattan isn't located in NJ last I checked, "regional headquarters" or not. There are much better uses for the money. Poor infrastructure, rail stations and tracks need upgrades, NJT police aren't abundant as they should, light rail lines should be extended. Let Amtrak and NY pay for it if they want it so much.

And even if they do, it isn't needed. You already have buses and ferries. Have the Port Authority add an extra car to the PATH fleet and redo a couple of its stations. What's needed is for NJ to be more business friendly, and since companies are leaving Manhattan from what I hear, it's time for Christie to take advantage of that. Lord knows the cities could use them. And it's not like their mass transit systems are poor to begin with...

JCMAN320
October 7th, 2010, 06:15 PM
Hudson River tunnel project is officially canceled by Gov. Christie

Published: Thursday, October 07, 2010, 1:58 PM Updated: Thursday, October 07, 2010, 5:50 PM
Star-Ledger Staff

http://media.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/photo/8946991-large.jpg
Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appears at a statehouse news conference today to announce he has killed the new rail tunnel to be built beneath the Hudson River.

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie today killed the controversial, multi-billion dollar Hudson River commuter train tunnel — America’s largest public works project — ending for now the two-decade-old quest to expand train capacity between New Jersey and midtown Manhattan.

“I have made a pledge to the people of New Jersey that on my watch I will not allow taxpayers to fund projects that run over budget with no clear way of how these costs will be paid for,” said the governor. “Considering the unprecedented fiscal and economic climate our State is facing, it is completely unthinkable to borrow more money and leave taxpayers responsible for billions in cost overruns.

Christie said the tunnel project costs “far more than New Jersey taxpayers can afford and the only prudent move is to end this project.”

James Weinstein, the executive director of NJ Transit, in a statement, said while the state recognized the importance and value of a cross-Hudson transportation improvement project, “the current economic climate in New Jersey simply does not allow for this project to continue considering the substantial additional costs that are required.”

The governor said he has directed the state’s transportation officials to explore other approaches to modernize and expand rail capacity into New York. “However, any future project must recognize the regional and national scale of such an effort and work within the scope of the State’s current fiscal and economic realities,” he said.

Christie called a 30-day temporary halt in September on new tunnel construction, as behind-the-scenes cost projections suggested the tunnel project costs would swell more than $1 billion above the $8.7 million proposed price tag. He said he didn’t want the New Jersey version of Boston’s "Big Dig" — a tunnel mega-project that saw the final tally climb to nearly ten times the original $2.8 billion estimate.

At the same time, the governor was confronted with the state’s nearly bankrupt Transportation Trust Fund, which pays for road and bridge repairs and transit services. Christie had vowed not to increase the gas tax to pay for the fund, saying that drivers already had to contend with New Jersey Turnpike toll hikes and state residents already have been taxed too much, and there has been growing speculation that Christie will shift the state’s share of the tunnel project into the trust fund.

The federal government has earmarked $3 billion for the tunnel project, with another $3 billion being funded by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the final $2.7 billion coming from the state of New Jersey. Christie said the federal commitment is capped at $3 billion and required that any costs above $8.7 billion be absorbed by the State of New Jersey. According to the governor, cost overruns are estimated to be in a range from more than $2 billion to over $5 billion.

Formally known as Access to the Region’s Core, or ARC, the tunnel was to double train capacity to and from America’s largest city by the end of 2018, increasing the Garden State’s access to wealthy city jobs. Up to $600 million had already been spent on planning and construction work.

Tunnel opponents maintained the project was rushed together so then-Gov. Jon Corzine could get a re-election campaign photo opportunity at a ceremonial groundbreaking in summer 2009. They also said the tunnel, which was to end at West 34th Street in Manhattan, lacked connectivity to Penn Station and Manhattan’s prosperous east side. NJ Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel dubbed it the "tunnel to Macy’s basement."

Proponents said the project would have created 6,000 construction-related jobs annually and close to 45,000 permanent jobs once completed. It would have provided one-seat rides to Manhattan, gotten 22,000 cars off the roads every day and eliminated nearly 70,000 tons of greenhouse gasses gases every year, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said.

“Canceling the tunnel project is not just bad transportation policy – it’s bad fiscal policy,” said Lautenberg said in a statement earlier today.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/10/hudson_river_tunnel_project_is.html

JCMAN320
October 7th, 2010, 06:16 PM
Memo from ARC Execuitive:

http://media.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/other/10.7.10%20Memo.pdf

ASchwarz
October 7th, 2010, 06:40 PM
I thought the state was paying for the majority of it? If/since that's the case, why spend state money to outsource jobs to Manhattan? Does that make any sense at all?

The tunnel doesn't outsource jobs; it insources wealth.

You seem to think that all the jobs in NJ will for some reason all move to Manhattan if they build a tunnel. This is nonsensical. If anything, the state will lose jobs with no tunnel, because it will be a poorer, more congested place.

What the tunnel will do is make NJ a much wealthier place. High income folks will choose NJ, because it's a really nice state and, more important, because it's convenient to work. It's no coincidence that the fastest growth in NJ wealth has been A. Along rail lines, and B. Close to Manhattan.

Many rich folks want to live in NJ, and this is a good thing. Why would you want to force them to NY and CT? It's a fact that Midtown Direct Service caused skyrocketing prosperity along the rail line. The same thing will happen in Bergen County once they get the new rail line to Tenafly. Do you want investment bankers to live in Bergen County or Westchester County? They won't live in Bergen if they can't get to work.


Manhattan isn't located in NJ last I checked, "regional headquarters" or not. There are much better uses for the money. Poor infrastructure, rail stations and tracks need upgrades, NJT police aren't abundant as they should, light rail lines should be extended. Let Amtrak and NY pay for it if they want it so much.

Fine if you think there are better uses for the money, but the fact is that it's mostly federal money, so you are basically saying that other states should have the money, not NJ.

NJ is throwing away billions from the federal government and Port Authority. If you prefer NY keep its money, and the Feds spend the billions in some other state, then fine, though I don't see how this benefits NJ.


And even if they do, it isn't needed. You already have buses and ferries. Have the Port Authority add an extra car to the PATH fleet and redo a couple of its stations. What's needed is for NJ to be more business friendly, and since companies are leaving Manhattan from what I hear, it's time for Christie to take advantage of that. Lord knows the cities could use them. And it's not like their mass transit systems are poor to begin with...

This is complete nonsense. The trains are at 100% capacity. The Port Authority terminal is at 100% capacity. Ferries are useless if you aren't on the water. How does someone in Princeton benefit from additional ferries?

The PATH trains are already being extended by two cars, but this will cost something like 2 billion, and it only benefits the folks living in a few cities. Now if you want to extend PATH, fine, but that will cost megabillions too, and you still will need another tunnel to Manhattan.

66nexus
October 7th, 2010, 06:55 PM
There are plenty of ways to deal with this. NJ has some of the nation's lowest gas taxes.

NJ also recently eliminated the millionaire's tax. Why, exactly? Income taxes on the wealthy are already lower in NJ than in neighboring states.

Or, NJ could rearrange its priorities and spend a little more on transit and a little less on roads.

I would actually be upset if they put a tax on gas (it's one of the last few havens in the state)
Everything else aside, my only real issue is the money.



I thought the state was paying for the majority of it? If/since that's the case, why spend state money to outsource jobs to Manhattan? Does that make any sense at all? Manhattan isn't located in NJ last I checked, "regional headquarters" or not. There are much better uses for the money. Poor infrastructure, rail stations and tracks need upgrades, NJT police aren't abundant as they should, light rail lines should be extended. Let Amtrak and NY pay for it if they want it so much.

And even if they do, it isn't needed. You already have buses and ferries. Have the Port Authority add an extra car to the PATH fleet and redo a couple of its stations. What's needed is for NJ to be more business friendly, and since companies are leaving Manhattan from what I hear, it's time for Christie to take advantage of that. Lord knows the cities could use them. And it's not like their mass transit systems are poor to begin with...

I honestly think this is key

66nexus
October 7th, 2010, 07:00 PM
I also see NJ actually getting less crowded in the future as outward migration continues. Even though I would support this tunnel more in happier $$ times (in the midst of expansions) I never really saw how this tunnel meant the difference between a prosperous NJ and a burned out one.

I mean after all this state has came to be...it all comes down to a tunnel?

ablarc
October 7th, 2010, 07:01 PM
Maybe get the Chinese to build it?

Newarkguy
October 7th, 2010, 07:05 PM
NewarkGuy, you are making no sense. All your suggestions would make the project even more complex, expensive, and convoluted.

No, one cannot add a level to Penn Station because of engineering constrainsts.

No, one cannot build a shallower station because of infrastructure issues.

No, one cannot connect to Grand Central unless you want to double the cost.

The plan, while imperfect, was a good one, and I hope it can be revived once Christie is defeated in two years. He already cost the State a giant amount of lost federal funds, thanks to his buffonery in regards to education and transit funding.

I didn't mean to imply that NJT would build to Grand central. No, thats Ny state territory. Ny state would do that portion. NY was not moving fast enough. So this version of ARC was a sudden plan B. Here, Routers news ignorantly shows a rendering of the ORIGINAL Penn Station plan. The NJtransit tunnel was to be directly below and separated by an escalator.http://www.reuters.com/resources/r/?m=02&d=20101007&t=2&i=220709201&w=460&fh=&fw=&ll=&pl=&r=2010-10-07T193803Z_01_BTRE6961IJH00_RTROPTP_0_US-NEWJERSEY-TUNNEL No one has reported the fact that this tunnel would NOT connect directly to PENN. Rather, an entranceway on 34th street apart from Penn station. The actual project has the tunnels diving 180- 200 feet below Manhattan. Very inconvenient for commuters, hard to evacuate, and goes no where. Why is the media showing us outdated renderings of an ARC-Penn connection? To help democrats like the ones that had a press conference today to Denounce the projects death on "politics". (God knows democrats don't do that.) Look up the Lackawanna coalition for reasons this ARC was flawed. Furthermore, The FEDS will not cover anything past 8 billion. Estimates range from 10-11 to 14 BILLION in overruns. NJ could get stuck owing up to 6 billion in over expenses. This last fact is why ARC is now officially dead.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Flackawannacoalition.net%2F&ei=tFeuTLWWK4KosAPewpXYDA&usg=AFQjCNGRYot1g5gcuz77r4obnBE6rAwK8w Check the July august 2010 edition of Railgram Newsletter. Welcome to the Erie Lackawanna Coalition!!!

66nexus
October 7th, 2010, 07:28 PM
"Christie has garnered national attention for progress made tackling the state's record $11 billion budget deficit during his first year in office. He has been invited by other Republicans across the country to campaign for them ahead of the November 2 congressional elections in a multi-state tour that has added fuel to speculation that he might consider a presidential run.

Christie is pushing a lean-government, low-tax agenda that includes limiting annual increases in the state's property taxes, the highest in the nation. He has refused to raise money by increasing taxes on gasoline, among the lowest-priced in the country.

New Jersey Democratic Party Chairman John Wisniewski said there was no evidence that the Hudson River tunnel would exceed its estimated budget and accused Christie of canceling the project in a bid to fuel his growing national profile."




Sorry, I've got a bone to pick w/ that last one. In these modern times (when everything takes 3x longer to build), when do projects on larger scales EVER stay within budget?

Marv95
October 7th, 2010, 07:32 PM
So it's nonsensical for the state to become business friendly and trying to promote growth/wealth within the cities? If the state chose to do this, I doubt they would lose much; they'd probably would gain more. Why not have BOTH rich folks and corporations?

LOL, A, you act like it'll be impossible for anyone to get to work without this thing. They made it this far without it, right? If they need to pay the bills and feed the kids, they'll find a way to get there, even without driving. But the bottom line is they chose to work in the city rather than finding work closer to home. Nope. Don't feel for the Princeton snob at all. And the bus terminal isn't at 100% capacity if there are NJT/private buses that aren't even half-full during rush hours. And the same can almost be said for PATH from Hoboken to Midtown, to a lessor extent of course.

It's state taxpayer money, not federal money. Use it for something that makes more sense.

ASchwarz
October 7th, 2010, 09:23 PM
Marv, the state is hardly becoming business friendly by chasing away residents and worsening commutes. Businesses want their workers to get to work. Christie is chasing away businesses to states with better infrastructure.

In fact, all the NJ business groups are for the tunnel. Who would turn down $5 billion in federal money and $2 billion in Port Authority money? That's $7 billion down the toilet, just because you have to chip in a few billion too.

And the Port Authority terminal has been at 100% capacity for years, as has the tunnel bus lane. It's a huge headache, and Christie's move just punts the construction to the next governor.

He's running for President and wants to bolster his credentials with Conservatives, who think public transit is Socialist.

JCMAN320
October 7th, 2010, 11:07 PM
Marv, the state is hardly becoming business friendly by chasing away residents and worsening commutes. Businesses want their workers to get to work. Christie is chasing away businesses to states with better infrastructure.

In fact, all the NJ business groups are for the tunnel. Who would turn down $5 billion in federal money and $2 billion in Port Authority money? That's $7 billion down the toilet, just because you have to chip in a few billion too.

And the Port Authority terminal has been at 100% capacity for years, as has the tunnel bus lane. It's a huge headache, and Christie's move just punts the construction to the next governor.

He's running for President and wants to bolster his credentials with Conservatives, who think public transit is Socialist.

Schwartz I couldn't agree with you more on this point!

West Hudson
October 8th, 2010, 10:21 AM
As much as I disagree with Christie on alot of issues, and although I originally was a big supporter of the ARC tunnel, I could see how the tunnel would benefit NYC alot more than NJ. Making commutes to NYC more enjoyable gives companies an extra incentive to stay in NYC. If a large percentage of a company's staff lives in NJ, and senior staff members complain about commutes from NJ to NYC, this gives the company an incentive to relocate its business to NJ.

However, it's also true that, knowing a commute from NJ to NYC is draining and mass transit from NJ to NYC is unreliable, a human resources director might be less inclined to hire job candidates living in - and commuting from - NJ.

Personally, I'd rather see the money spent toward extending the Lightrail systems in Jersey City and Newark/Elizabeth.

And, how much would it cost to finally get the PATH extended to Grand Central from it's current terminus at 33rd Street? That extension is long overdue, and I believe that is one of many improvements that could be accomplished with the Port Authority's $3 billion.

arcman210
October 8th, 2010, 11:08 AM
For New Jersey to front this bill and its overruns was ludicrous. Instead spend money on our in state infrastructure... those extra jobs that wont come to NYC because of the increased NJTransit trains will wind up in Newark and Jersey City (plenty of land to build class a office space in both cities) because their growing infrastructure and public transporation are awaiting a building boom.

Spend our tax dollars in our state. This project isn't completely dead... it will find new sources of financing eventually, perhaps from the private sector that would ultimately benefit from the tunnel.

GordonGecko
October 8th, 2010, 11:39 AM
Confiscate the south tube of the Lincoln Tunnel, run some tracks, dig connecting tunnels, be done in 3 years at 15% the cost - problem solved.

GordonGecko
October 8th, 2010, 11:41 AM
...Who would turn down $5 billion in federal money and $2 billion in Port Authority money? That's $7 billion down the toilet, just because you have to chip in a few billion too....

You must be one of those guys that gets a hard-on from $25 off $100 coupons at K-Mart. HELLO McFLY, if you're broke, in debt with no credit, you don't have the 75 to get that $25 off

GordonGecko
October 8th, 2010, 11:52 AM
As much as I disagree with Christie on alot of issues, and although I originally was a big supporter of the ARC tunnel, I could see how the tunnel would benefit NYC alot more than NJ. Making commutes to NYC more enjoyable gives companies an extra incentive to stay in NYC. If a large percentage of a company's staff lives in NJ, and senior staff members complain about commutes from NJ to NYC, this gives the company an incentive to relocate its business to NJ.

However, it's also true that, knowing a commute from NJ to NYC is draining and mass transit from NJ to NYC is unreliable, a human resources director might be less inclined to hire job candidates living in - and commuting from - NJ.

Personally, I'd rather see the money spent toward extending the Lightrail systems in Jersey City and Newark/Elizabeth.

And, how much would it cost to finally get the PATH extended to Grand Central from it's current terminus at 33rd Street? That extension is long overdue, and I believe that is one of many improvements that could be accomplished with the Port Authority's $3 billion.

I think the tunnel would benefit NJ much more than NYC. People in NJ earn the big bucks in Manhattan, if they can't get to work they're going to get a lower paying job in NJ or move out of state (to New York most likely). That hurts the NJ tax rolls. You also have all the lost productivity in traffic jams.

A PATH extension to Grand Central would be convenient, but there are subway connection options and overall I don't think that would make much impact

The real problem that people are not recognizing is union extortion. Bidding for contracts should be open for all firms, union or not, provided they are sufficiently skilled with appropriate quality control. $60 an hour to a guy pouring cement may be nice for his family's 3 cars and 4,000 sf house, but it's killing government contracts. A guy making $20/hour will do just as good a job and probably in less time.

Marv95
October 8th, 2010, 12:14 PM
I think the tunnel would benefit NJ much more than NYC. People in NJ earn the big bucks in Manhattan, if they can't get to work they're going to get a lower paying job in NJ or move out of state (to New York most likely). That hurts the NJ tax rolls. You also have all the lost productivity in traffic jams.

Then the state has to do something they haven't done in decades: promote NJ(not NY) to businesses. And that "lower paying job" also includes lower commuting costs, taxes, etc. so it'll balance out imo.

lofter1
October 8th, 2010, 12:29 PM
Companies often don't want to move from NY to NJ. But they often use the potential move as a threat when negotiating NY tax breaks on building projects. It's almost like they're saying "We'd stoop that low if we don't get what we want from NY."

ASchwarz
October 8th, 2010, 12:58 PM
You must be one of those guys that gets a hard-on from $25 off $100 coupons at K-Mart. HELLO McFLY, if you're broke, in debt with no credit, you don't have the 75 to get that $25 off

NJ is the furthest thing from broke. It's the second wealthiest state in the nation.

And if it's really desperate for cash, then why does it refuse to raise the gas tax a bit? Why did it just cut the millionaires tax, when the tax is already much lower than neighboring states? Why doesn't it cut the vast govt. corruption, and bureaucratic waste? Why does it pay some of the highest govt. salaries?

How can the second wealthiest state in the richest nation on earth not afford a few billion in long-term transportation investment, when third-world countries can afford many times more on infrastructure?

And this is not refusing an offer of 25% off. This is refusing an offer of 65% off, and refusing a gusher of jobs, wealth, and investment.

ASchwarz
October 8th, 2010, 01:01 PM
Then the state has to do something they haven't done in decades: promote NJ(not NY) to businesses. And that "lower paying job" also includes lower commuting costs, taxes, etc. so it'll balance out imo.

The tunnel would do exactly what you're saying. How is crappy infrastructure and poor transportation access attractive to businesses?

And commuting costs and taxes wouldn't be any lower. NJ commuters don't pay NYC income taxes, and public transit costs on both sides of the Hudson are comparable.

BTW, NJ is famous for trying to promote the state as a cheaper alternative to Manhattan. You've never head of the NJ Gold Coast? Why do you think all those new buildings exist, all the way from Fort Lee to Bayonne? It's convenience to Manhattan, at a cheaper price.

GordonGecko
October 8th, 2010, 01:55 PM
NJ is the furthest thing from broke. It's the second wealthiest state in the nation.

And if it's really desperate for cash, then why does it refuse to raise the gas tax a bit? Why did it just cut the millionaires tax, when the tax is already much lower than neighboring states? Why doesn't it cut the vast govt. corruption, and bureaucratic waste? Why does it pay some of the highest govt. salaries?

How can the second wealthiest state in the richest nation on earth not afford a few billion in long-term transportation investment, when third-world countries can afford many times more on infrastructure?

And this is not refusing an offer of 25% off. This is refusing an offer of 65% off, and refusing a gusher of jobs, wealth, and investment.

To be clear, it's more like 45% off. $3B Port Authority money + $3B Federal Grant = $6B. The latest estimates are for a total cost of $11B. Regardless, you don't see cashiers from Duane Reade lining up at Saks 5th Avenue to get 45% off 2 thousand dollar hand bags. It's the same thing here, NJ would have to come up with an extra $5B - the state just doesn't have that sort of cash flow right now. Never mind that there wasn't even a plan to link the trains to anything, this tunnel was going to end in Macy's Basement, it would cost even more to finish this thing off.

New Jersey has some of, if not the highest property taxes in the entire country and a huge deficit. Adding another 5 billion dollars is not a feasible endeavour right now. There is probably room for increase of the marginal tax rates at the upper brackets & on some gasoline tax, but that's a decision the people of NJ have to make. I don't see too many people lining up for higher taxes in order to get this extra tunnel built.

But before we move on to plan B, I think the state needs to start taking a serious look at cutting at Union waste & bloated salaries. This has become a paralyzing problem, both in NJ and NYC

66nexus
October 8th, 2010, 05:13 PM
NJ is the furthest thing from broke. It's the second wealthiest state in the nation.

And if it's really desperate for cash, then why does it refuse to raise the gas tax a bit? Why did it just cut the millionaires tax, when the tax is already much lower than neighboring states? Why doesn't it cut the vast govt. corruption, and bureaucratic waste? Why does it pay some of the highest govt. salaries?

How can the second wealthiest state in the richest nation on earth not afford a few billion in long-term transportation investment, when third-world countries can afford many times more on infrastructure?

And this is not refusing an offer of 25% off. This is refusing an offer of 65% off, and refusing a gusher of jobs, wealth, and investment.

NJ may be wealthy as far as resident's income, but the state itself has no $$ (treasury).

as far as the corruption and constant political waste in this state...I got nothin'

arcman210
October 8th, 2010, 08:25 PM
Side note and maybe part of the other thread, but would this project being cancelled have any possible effect on 15 Penn Plaza?

lofter1
October 8th, 2010, 08:44 PM
Not so fast. Seems Mr. Christie may have been informed that NJ could have to pay back the Feds for money already spent (not to mention that the pledged $3B for this project would go elsewhere) ...

Christie to Review Options on Tunnel

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/nyregion/09tunnel.html?_r=1&hp)
By PATRICK McGEEHAN
October 8, 2010

The planned rail tunnel under the Hudson River may not be quite dead yet.

A day after ordering an end to construction of the tunnel, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said Friday that he had agreed to a two-week review of “several options to potentially salvage a trans-Hudson tunnel project.” Mr. Christie said the unspecified ideas had been presented by Ray LaHood, who is President Obama’s transportation secretary.

Mr. LaHood went to Trenton on Friday to meet with Mr. Christie because he was unhappy that the governor had decided to scrap a project that was already underway and that had received a commitment of $6 billion in funds from the federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ...

FULL ARTICLE (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/nyregion/09tunnel.html?_r=1&hp)

JCMAN320
October 9th, 2010, 01:41 AM
Not so fast. Seems Mr. Christie may have been informed that NJ could have to pay back the Feds for money already spent (not to mention that the pledged $3B for this project would go elsewhere) ...

Christie to Review Options on Tunnel

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/nyregion/09tunnel.html?_r=1&hp)
By PATRICK McGEEHAN
October 8, 2010

The planned rail tunnel under the Hudson River may not be quite dead yet.

A day after ordering an end to construction of the tunnel, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said Friday that he had agreed to a two-week review of “several options to potentially salvage a trans-Hudson tunnel project.” Mr. Christie said the unspecified ideas had been presented by Ray LaHood, who is President Obama’s transportation secretary.

Mr. LaHood went to Trenton on Friday to meet with Mr. Christie because he was unhappy that the governor had decided to scrap a project that was already underway and that had received a commitment of $6 billion in funds from the federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ...

FULL ARTICLE (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/nyregion/09tunnel.html?_r=1&hp)

Thank you Mr. LaHood!!!

STT757
October 9th, 2010, 09:35 AM
This project will go forward, it may have it's design tweaked and the Feds and the Port Authority will probably pledge to pick up any cost overruns. The World Trade Center's rebuilding has surpassed all cost estimates by Billions, the Port Authority is handling those cost over runs. The Port Authority, who is a bi-State agency who's charter is to facilitate commerce between NY and NJ, should also pick up the cost overruns on this project.

This tunnel is a long term investment, and should not fall victim to short term budget manuverings.

stache
October 9th, 2010, 10:33 AM
Christie is an idiot.

Gregory Jones
October 9th, 2010, 11:05 AM
Side note and maybe part of the other thread, but would this project being canceled have any possible effect on 15 Penn Plaza?

No effect on the 15 Penn Plaza, however it may put a damper on the Farley Post Office/Penn Station project. Since 15 Penn Plaza will not connect with the ARC directly but rather though what will be, the new Penn Station.

antinimby
October 9th, 2010, 07:14 PM
Anytime you can get the Feds to throw in $6 Billion, you've got to be stupid not to take it.

I realize that NJ may cash strapped right now but you still have find a way to come up with it.

An infusion of $6 billion into the metro area's economy benefits everyone on both sides of the Hudson.

66nexus
October 9th, 2010, 08:34 PM
This project will go forward, it may have it's design tweaked and the Feds and the Port Authority will probably pledge to pick up any cost overruns. The World Trade Center's rebuilding has surpassed all cost estimates by Billions, the Port Authority is handling those cost over runs. The Port Authority, who is a bi-State agency who's charter is to facilitate commerce between NY and NJ, should also pick up the cost overruns on this project.

This tunnel is a long term investment, and should not fall victim to short term budget manuverings.

Had that been the original deal I don't think it would've been an issue.


Anytime you can get the Feds to throw in $6 Billion, you've got to be stupid not to take it.

I realize that NJ may cash strapped right now but you still have find a way to come up with it.

An infusion of $6 billion into the metro area's economy benefits everyone on both sides of the Hudson.

I thought the Feds were in for $3 billion? Either way, I think if the final $$ figure was more concrete it would be easier to speculate. It seems like most larger-scale projects go over-budget.

I wouldn't even have saw a problem w/ all the associated parties on this project picking up at least a percentage of cost overruns...but for it to all fall on NJ? Nah.


If Christie's halting of this thing gets the Fed to cover cost-overruns then it may be the smartest move he made. If not, then well...who knows

mariab
October 9th, 2010, 08:34 PM
STT757: My sentiments exactly. NJ can't afford to be shortsighted on an important project like this, especially when there's such a strain on our already famously overcrowded highways. Not to mention the population explosion in NJ over the last 10 years. In 2000 we were at 8.5 mil, can't even imagine what it's at now. Many NJ commuters would jump at the chance for this service. I like how Christie is making a lot of bold moves to save us money, but crapping out on this project would be a major mistake.

Don31
October 10th, 2010, 07:00 PM
Anytime you can get the Feds to throw in $6 Billion, you've got to be stupid not to take it.

I realize that NJ may cash strapped right now but you still have find a way to come up with it.

An infusion of $6 billion into the metro area's economy benefits everyone on both sides of the Hudson.


The Port Authority's contribution of $3 billion gets you to $6 billion, but otherwise I agree with you 100%

West Hudson
October 11th, 2010, 12:24 AM
I think the tunnel would benefit NJ much more than NYC. People in NJ earn the big bucks in Manhattan, if they can't get to work they're going to get a lower paying job in NJ or move out of state (to New York most likely). That hurts the NJ tax rolls. You also have all the lost productivity in traffic jams.

GordonGecko, alot of the people who earn the "big bucks" in Manhattan and live in NJ live in Manhattan during the week, otherwise they take the PATH to Hoboken or the JC waterfront, where they live in luxury rentals during the week and return to their mansions in the suburbs on weekends. Alot take the ferry from luxury condos in Weehawken, Hoboken, or JC. And most of the rest drive in from their suburban mansions. I'd guess that less than 5% of the top earners in NJ who work in Manhattan take NJ Transit trains to get to work.



The real problem that people are not recognizing is union extortion. Bidding for contracts should be open for all firms, union or not, provided they are sufficiently skilled with appropriate quality control. $60 an hour to a guy pouring cement may be nice for his family's 3 cars and 4,000 sf house, but it's killing government contracts. A guy making $20/hour will do just as good a job and probably in less time.

I totally agree with you on this though. Having worked as a CM for Skanska, I can tell you for sure that the contractors winning contracts for ARC are at least billing for union workers at a rate that is about 4 times the median income for a family in the United States. I used to think police in NJ are paid excessively, but I found that the salaries of police in NJ are peanuts compared to those of some union construction workers.

lofter1
October 11th, 2010, 12:51 AM
If the union pay rates are such a problem then why are those companies that use them and include them in their bids getting the jobs?

And $20/hour and no benefits? $40K / year before taxes and expenses. Yeah, that'll sure support a family.

GordonGecko
October 11th, 2010, 01:24 AM
If the union pay rates are such a problem then why are those companies that use them and include them in their bids getting the jobs?

And $20/hour and no benefits? $40K / year before taxes and expenses. Yeah, that'll sure support a family.
Are we in the United States or are we in the Soviet Union? If there are tons of people out there who are able and willing to work at a low skill position, the market should decide the pay. Don't like it? Get a college degree and gain skill that is more in demand.

stache
October 11th, 2010, 01:34 AM
^ Yawn.

lofter1
October 11th, 2010, 09:24 AM
Oh, GG, that is so sad.

I'm not saying that the unions shouldn't bend, but to claim that they are tantamount to communism displays a total lack of understanding.

A living wage with proper protections for workers is a good thing that society should encourage.

West Hudson
October 11th, 2010, 12:36 PM
Let's get real - it is possible to live on a wage of $20/hour. Tens of thousands of people living in the NYC metro earn less than that. True, you might not be able to buy a Ferrari and live in a mcmansion at that rate, but it is possible (and if you don't buy this, look at the going rates for rentals in Journal Square, add about $100/month for utilities, and add about $150/month for food...you're talking under $1,000 per month/$12,000 per year for your total expenses).

...But we don't need to cut wages of union workers on the ARC project to that level; some of the larger contractors bill union labor at a whopping $80 per hour. Why not cut down to half this amount? That's still double (and even triple) what many individuals in NJ earn.

lofter1
October 11th, 2010, 02:06 PM
We'll really see how the construction industry grinds to a halt when you get on the negotiating team for upcoming projects.

Derek2k3
October 11th, 2010, 02:14 PM
Let's get real - it is possible to live on a wage of $20/hour. Tens of thousands of people living in the NYC metro earn less than that. True, you might not be able to buy a Ferrari and live in a mcmansion at that rate, but it is possible (and if you don't buy this, look at the going rates for rentals in Journal Square, add about $100/month for utilities, and add about $150/month for food...you're talking under $1,000 per month/$12,000 per year for your total expenses).

...But we don't need to cut wages of union workers on the ARC project to that level; some of the larger contractors bill union labor at a whopping $80 per hour. Why not cut down to half this amount? That's still double (and even triple) what many individuals in NJ earn.

I agree. Construction costs are unbelievable in this area. Which is why hardly any of us can afford to live and work in high-quality newly constructed spaces.

lofter1
October 11th, 2010, 02:46 PM
How about we cut the fees of the architects and lawyers and engineers and bankers and suppliers involved in construction, too?

ablarc
October 11th, 2010, 03:45 PM
Speaking for architects and engineers, I think this has already been done. I think you need to keep your eyes on the administrators.

Don31
October 11th, 2010, 04:45 PM
Speaking for architects and engineers, I think this has already been done. I think you need to keep your eyes on the administrators.

Yeah, what he said!

ZippyTheChimp
October 11th, 2010, 10:38 PM
10.11.2010

Comment


Christie's Choice

Darius Sollohub

If New Jersey Governor Christopher J. Christie’s unilateral decision to cancel the ARC tunnel stands, it will undoubtedly become a case study for infrastructure investments across the country. The decision-making process, public outreach, and possible outcomes of this $8.7 billion transit link between New Jersey and midtown Manhattan will be carefully scrutinized—and indeed, that process has already begun.

As of Friday, October 8, the project received a two-week stay of execution (http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/10/hudson_river_tunnel_project_ma.html) upon the request of the Obama administration’s Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood. The result of this review—which many expect will end in Christie making good on his threat to divert New Jersey’s $2.7 billion tunnel contribution to bolster the state’s faltering Transportation Trust Fund—will have profound repercussions upon Christie’s long- and short-term political prospects, on the fate of public transit in the New York region, and on how future infrastructure projects in America will be planned, financed, and built.

At the root of Christie’s rationale for cancelling the Access to the Region’s Core project, known as ARC—a years-in-the-making, multi-agency effort to connect the New Jersey Meadowlands to Penn Station via two new single-track tunnels—is a campaign pledge in which Christie vowed to make tough decisions and run like a one-term governor, instead of acting expediently for short-term political gain. He also pledged to operate the state government with maximum transparency. The upshot is his belief that New Jersey’s taxpayers cannot bear the risk of the ARC tunnel’s escalating cost. Since the project was halted on September 13, New Jersey officials have studied various scenarios and counseled the governor not to take that chance. This four-week examination seems to contradict a recent five-month intensive review by federal and local staff that reported on all aspects of the budget, including inflation, and found them properly accounted for. Was Christie’s team looking at the same information? That bids for the $600 million already spent have come in under budget seems to support the latter assessment. Other arguments made by the governor are inconsistent: The Port Authority pledged in 2009 to be responsible for a share of cost overruns, which contradicts Christie’s argument that New Jersey would be solely responsible. And in July, the governor seemed prepared to spend up to $1 billion to bail out the largely private investment at the Xanadu development in the New Jersey Meadowlands, claiming that “there is already a $2 billion investment in that building and I'm not ready to give up on it." Future analysts will ask what calculus makes private investment today worthy of a bailout when a public investment is not.

What will the economic outcomes of Christie’s decision be, and what bearing will it have on him? If he uses New Jersey’s $2.7 billion tunnel contribution to bolster the Transportation Trust Fund—barely a third of which he can use, according to funding formulas—he will forfeit the $6 billion match by the Port Authority and the federal government. He will also forfeit the $18 billion increase in property values to many New Jersey communities (only one of the many benefits that an independent study by the Regional Plan Association forecasts). Shoring up the Trust Fund with what remains of the ARC project (which may serve the fund for a year at best) will be scrutinized for its rate of return when compared to ARC. In a political climate where the suggestion of raising taxes is a form of political suicide, where will the Fund look for replenishment when the diverted ARC dollars run out? How will this square with Christie’s campaign pledge regarding quick political fixes?

One lasting lesson that will surely come from Christie’s cancellation will be that for projects of this scope to succeed, they must have overwhelming public support. By the time it broke ground, ARC had become so complex that when Christie first announced a suspension of construction, even the local Sierra Club supported him and lampooned the project as the “tunnel to Macy’s basement” (they have since recanted (http://newjersey.sierraclub.org/PressReleases/0194.asp)). The necessity of infrastructure projects like ARC may seem self-evident to some, but they are abstractions to the general public and must be convincingly and perpetually sold to them. It might need ongoing viral support on Facebook or other social networks. Or perhaps simple analogies should be regularly transmitted via the media to support the project at critical junctures. One such analogy (dropping a few zeroes) to explain ARC’s value might go like this: Using the tunnel allocation to pay off the Trust Fund is like using your pension contribution to buy a $30,000 car today. In doing so, you sacrifice the $60,000 two-to-one contribution from your employer. After ten years, your contribution would have yielded at least $180,000, but the car you purchased then is now worth close to zero. Might putting its value in terms like these make it clearer?

The overriding question that future infrastructure planners will ask is how any projects of significant scope can be executed in America today if one individual can stop decades of carefully laid plans. They will ask why the federal government, when it has a majority stake in a project like ARC, doesn’t have a say. Governor Christie purportedly declined to speak with Transportation Secretary LaHood minutes before his announcement but did speak with him the following day, which resulted in the decision’s delay. It is unclear at this point what LaHood had to offer, but some are guardedly hopeful that an agreement on oversight and overages can been reached. Whatever the outcome, future planners and legislators will consider whether a governor with the least money on the table should have so much unilateral power.

Will the tunnel ever be completed if Christie stands by his October 8 decision? Many claim that it is hard to imagine repeating the effort again, especially if its prospect can be snatched away at the last minute. Optimists might argue that the 2nd Avenue Subway was restarted after many decades’ cessation. Others may hope that if the governor runs like a one-term governor and the voters make sure of it, this project will resume, but this is highly uncertain, as other states are already angling for the ARC funds. Or perhaps this isn’t over; perhaps this is all a high-stakes gambit on Christie’s part to get the federal government to ante in on overages. If this does occur, and Christie changes his mind after the stay, his temporary pause could go down in history as a necessary step to apply the highest level of scrutiny to protect the taxpayer’s investment, and Christie’s reputation for fiscal responsibility will be affirmed and may even be appreciated by constituents beyond his base. But if his real motive is to plunder ARC to shore up the Trust Fund, and his opponents can make this allegation stick and claim that he opted for the quick political fix, history may add Christie to the pantheon of his many predecessors in the governor’s office who sacrificed New Jersey’s future for short-term political gain.

Given that ARC would have built an extension to the existing Penn Station (albeit below it and at some remove), it is difficult to detach current events from the memory of the last Penn Station’s demolition in 1963. One only needs to see the many shrines built into the architecture of NJ Transit’s new entrance on 7th Avenue to know that its loss is still being actively mourned after 50 years. Its demise was then labeled “an act of civic vandalism,” but it fueled enough outrage that it led to the creation of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and ultimately to Grand Central Terminal’s salvation from a similar plight. That Grand Central was saved by a proto-viral response of concerned citizens (and celebrities like Jackie Onassis) affirms an important lesson that ARC’s planners may have not remembered: Support for projects like ARC must be argued with conviction. In 1963, Ada Louise Huxtable eulogized Penn Station when she wrote that “we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.” What would she say today of the difficulties we have of even getting past the planning stage?


Darius Sollohub is director of the New Jersey School of Architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and served as NJIT’s director of Infrastructure Planning from 2007*-2010.

Copyright © 2003-2010 | The Architect's Newspaper, LLC.

West Hudson
October 12th, 2010, 12:13 AM
How about we cut the fees of the architects and lawyers and engineers and bankers and suppliers involved in construction, too?

I would agree with you if the median salary of senior-level engineers working on ARC wasn't already significantly lower than the median salary of senior-level union workers on the construction side.

JCMAN320
October 12th, 2010, 12:20 AM
NO, Juliette Michaelson, not "20 years" of planning! More like a 20 month change of plans...a second choice. A plan "B" that wasn't the tunnel's original purpose. This is not even the original project! The plan over a decade was to build 2 tunnels to the new Penn Station/Pat Moynahan station, currently a NYC post office,and a twin to the original Pennsylvania Station which was demolished for the MSG arena. From there, the tracks pass through the old MSG Penn station, where AMtrak will continue to stop. THEN...AH...the NJtransit tracks continued UNDER Manhattan to connect to the dead end platforms of GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL. Grand central becomes a through station and not a dead end. Theoretically, you can go from Newark or Philly to albany on the same train-one seat ride!! This would give NJ transit trains and Metro North more route options as well as extra platform room for trains. having their own tunnels gives NJT/Metro North more schedule flexibility and eliminates the need to be at AMTRAK's mercy. BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! INSTEAD Governor Corzine,instead of waiting for the impact studies of a link to Grand Central,rammed a compromise project to appease construction unions,and gain union voters before his failed reelection bid! This tunnel Christie should kill immediately!!! Instead of going to NY Penn Station(old or the proposed new one), it DIVES 200 feet below street level!! To a dead end yard with platforms. 200 feet below the Manhattan streets!! thats 25 to 30 stories underground! How will commuters reach their trains? By elevators??!! 20 flights of stairs or escalators? What if a terror attack happens? Hundreds of commuters dead from smoke inhalation and trampling trying to walk/run up 200 feet!!! In a fire, I understand that elevators usually are turned off.

Newarkguy the East Side Access Tunnel for the LIRR will be 120ft underground. I understand not 200 ft but still pretty damm deep. This tunnel needs to be built; we need this tunnel to stay competitive. I understand that many projects such as the commuter rail extension to Ewing, Scrantion, and the MOM have suffered with money being deferred from those project to the ARC. Those projects in the long run are based on demand; right now the most needed demand is to Midtown.

Nexis4Jersey
October 12th, 2010, 12:38 AM
This current project is to flawed. It needs to be redesigned or we should ride off the Amtrak plan which makes more sense. As for the other Rail expansions , they'll all be Diesel and go to Hoboken Terminal......
1. Un-Expandable station
2. Deep Underground and doesn't connect to the other Penn station
3. Why not although the Tunnels to continue to GCT