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

  1. #46
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    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?

  2. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by NY1
    If federal funding comes through, tunnel construction could begin as soon as 2009.
    "as soon as"?

    .

  3. #48

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    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.

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    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

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    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

  6. #51

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    ^ Fixin' to get ready to get started.

  12. #57

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    Can they make that tunnel capable of upgrading to Maglev technology when the time comes. Would be good for future rail technology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriHobo View Post
    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?

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    In a word yes.

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    Thumbs up Another Step!

    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.

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