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Thread: Hudson Rail Tunnel - Access to the Region’s Core (ARC)

  1. #181


    Then what about the NCS and the Riverline?

  2. #182

    Default Light Rail

    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.

  3. #183


    I just noticed that the forum title has Proposed: Hudson Rail Tunnel, it should be changed to read Under Construction.

  4. #184
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Oct 2002


    Citibank Branch Property Is in Tunnel Planners’ Sights


    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, 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, 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.

  5. #185
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Standing in a Giant Tunnel’s Path, and Forced to Leave


    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 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 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.”

  6. #186


    Quote Originally Posted by futurecity View Post
    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.

  7. #187
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    New Jersey Halts Work On Tunnels To Midtown

    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 ...


  8. #188
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    ^ This article provides a link to an interesting site -

  9. #189


    Sources Say New Jersey Gov. Christie to Pull Plug on Hudson River Tunnel
    Tuesday, October 05, 2010
    By Andrea Bernstein

    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.

  10. #190
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Does anyone know what kind and how much work has been done on this so far?

  11. #191


    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.

  12. #192
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    So no hole digging?

  13. #193


    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

  14. #194
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    May 2003
    Jersey City

    Angry Reports are that Christie will Kill the Tunnel

    The death of a rail-tunnel project, and the problem with relying on Trenton

    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.

  15. #195
    Forum Veteran Newarkguy's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    University Heights,Newark

    Default Kill this crappy plan B tunnel!

    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.
    Last edited by Newarkguy; October 6th, 2010 at 06:00 PM. Reason: spelling error

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