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Thread: Hudson Rail Tunnel - Access to the Regionís Core (ARC)

  1. #91
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Cool New Jersey Doin' It's Part

    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

  2. #92
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    That's a very forward looking move. Bravo!

  3. #93

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    Will this train station put more tracks inside the train stations on the N.E Corridor?

  4. #94

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    ^ Are they needed?

  5. #95

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    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

  6. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by 66nexus View Post
    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?

  7. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    They could start by calling it something besides "mass transit."




    Chauffeured commute?

    Good point

  8. #98
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Exclamation Deeper Tunnel

    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.

  9. #99
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    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 nationís 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 ďAccess to the Regionís Core,Ē 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 nationís 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.

  10. #100

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    Port Authority Expected to Raise Tolls to Support 2nd Hudson Rail Tunnel

    By KEN BELSON
    Published: November 15, 2007

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 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 authorityís 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 todayís 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 Jerseyís 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 and New Jersey Transit 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 regionís airports, ports and rail networks, and help rebuild the World Trade Center.

    At todayís 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.

  11. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyO View Post
    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.

  12. #102
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Agreed, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Port Authority's middle name is Red Tape.

  13. #103
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    Thumbs up New Jersey Recieves Endorsement

    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.

  14. #104
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    Exclamation Breaking News

    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

  15. #105

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    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.

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