New York and New Jersey release Gateway project funding plans19 December 2017
USA - The governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and out-going Chris Christie of New Jersey have outlined the plans for each state’s funding commitments for their portion of the Gateway Tunnel project, it was announced on December 14.
The two states are contributing half of the funding for the estimated USD 12.7bn project, which will include construction of a new dual track, train tunnel under the Hudson River connecting the two states.
The commitments include USD 1.9bn by NJ Transit, USD 1.75bn by the State of New York and USD 1.9bn previously committed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board of Commissioners. The governors said together these commitments totaling USD 5.55bn on fully fund the local share for the most urgent, time sensitive elements of the Project: the construction of a new tunnel and the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing which total USD 11.1bn of the USD 12.7bn construction cost. The rehabilitation of the existing tunnels is not expected to begin until 2026, and will cost about USD 1.6bn; the local share is USD 800M.
"The Gateway Tunnel is critical to the long term vitality of the entire Northeast region and one of the most important infrastructure projects in the country," Cuomo said. "New York State is stepping up to fund its share of the financial commitment as we rebuild our infrastructure all across the state. Now the federal government must fulfill its commitment to fund the other half and make this urgent, long-overdue project a reality."
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation, New York State budget director Robert Mujica said Governor Cuomo will propose in the state's forthcoming executive budget an appropriation each year over a 35-year period to pay debt service on a USD 1.75bn fixed-interest loan to the Gateway Development Corporation with a 35-year term under the US DOT's Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) program.
New Jersey announced a fare increase on TransHudson rail use to pay its portion. Specifically, NJ Transit said it intends to generate the revenue to support its share of the project cost through a per passenger trip charge for all NJ Transit rail passenger trips each way across the Hudson River. “Based on the updated financial plan, the estimated per trip cost to NJ TRANSIT rail customers using the Trans-Hudson tunnels will be USD 0.90 beginning in 2020 and increase to USD 1.70 in 2028, and USD 2.20 in 2038.
New Jersey’s governor elect, Phil Murphy, made a statement in opposition to Christie’s proposal to pay for the project through a fee to commuter rail and said he will be reviewing the plan. Murphy will be inaugurated in January 16, 2018.