View Poll Results: Who do you think the rail tunnel mainly benefits?

Voters
6. You may not vote on this poll
  • New York

    4 66.67%
  • New Jersey

    0 0%
  • Both share the beneifts equally

    2 33.33%
  • Not sure

    0 0%
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 25 of 25

Thread: Does NJ need another rail tunnel to NY?

  1. #21
    Moderator MITHRANDIR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Ocean County
    Posts
    205

    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyDevil View Post
    Here is my letter speaking out against the second Hudson Rail Tunnel...



    I am completely against this rail tunnel and all it will do is make New Jersey weaker in the long run and syphon more of our money out of the state and into New York.
    Well said. We will see if politicians will put NJ's interests first.

    The way some politicians push for this it seems like they have stock in trains or tunnel construction.
    Sincerely,
    Anthony


    NJ & You, Perfect Together

  2. #22
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Toms River NJ (Jersey Shore)
    Posts
    1,551

    Default

    This is the latest on the exporting of New Jersey project New Jersey politicians insist on funding, while our cities struggle to get back on their feet...
    Burrowing a tunnel under the Hudson River and into the future
    by Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
    Sunday May 03, 2009, 1:00 PM


    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.

    The work will mark the start of an eight-year, $8.7 billion effort to build the first rail tunnels under the Hudson River in a century and the first link of any kind between New Jersey and Manhattan since the lower deck of the George Washington Bridge opened in 1962.

    Known as Access to the Region's Core, or ARC, it is an undertaking nearly as immense as the construction of the two Gilded Age tunnels the new tubes will augment. It will employ thousands of people, many working deep underground in round-the-clock shifts.

    Tunnel-boring machines longer than football fields will chew through the hard rock of the New Jersey Palisades and slog through toothpaste-like silt 100 feet beneath the Hudson's surface.

    In Manhattan, the tunnels will end deep below 34th Street in a new two-tiered station stretching more than four-tenths of a mile, from Sixth to Eighth avenue, giving passengers access to 14 subway lines, PATH trains and the Long Island Rail Road.

    When it is completed in 2017, its planners and backers say, the project will ease the commute for hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans, speeding service, creating more transfer-free trips and encouraging drivers to abandon jammed roads in favor of trains.

    "It can't be overemphasized how important this project is," said Jeffrey M. Zupan, a senior fellow at the Regional Plan Association, a nonprofit advocacy group that focuses on open space, economic policy, transportation and housing. "It creates another leap forward in increasing rail service. It's a project that must be built."

    Beyond the immediate economic benefit of putting people to work, planners say, the tunnels will spur investment in Manhattan, creating an estimated 44,000 jobs. Many of those employees will come from New Jersey, Zupan says, citing studies that show 89 percent of new growth in the city draws workers from the west.

    "People in New Jersey get access to higher-paying jobs in New York, and New York can tap into a highly skilled work force in New Jersey," Zupan said. "For each of the two states, it's a real synergy."

    The project is also, in the view of transportation officials, a real necessity.

    The existing tunnels, which enter the Palisades just a quarter mile north of the new tubes' route, reached capacity earlier this decade, creating a bottleneck for the NJ Transit and Amtrak trains that travel to and from Penn Station along the Northeast Corridor, the most congested stretch of track in the nation.

    That translates into slower service and frequent delays. During peak travel periods, 23 trains pass through the old tunnels each hour, hardly enough at a time when NJ Transit sets ridership records each year.

    "It's basically a capacity issue," said Zoe Baldwin, the New Jersey advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, another advocacy group. "We're just unable to run more trains."

    When the new tunnels are completed, NJ Transit and Amtrak will increase the number of trains crossing the river to 34 per hour during peak periods. That number will gradually rise to a maximum 48 per hour by 2030, when ridership is projected to be nearly 60 percent higher than it is today.

    HURDLES GALORE
    Like the plan to build the tunnels a century ago -- a wildly ambitious endeavor that included construction of the original Penn Station and four tubes beneath the East River to Long Island -- the ARC project has had to overcome myriad bureaucratic, financial and engineering hurdles.

    Talks among various agencies began in earnest in 1990. By 1995, NJ Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey emerged as partners, embarking on a laborious process that would ultimately winnow 137 scenarios to one.

    Along the way, a bold vision was scaled back significantly.

    A connection to Grand Central Terminal was scrapped after New York City refused to allow digging near a 92-year-old water tunnel that serves much of Manhattan. The higher price of a Grand Central connection also was a concern. (Planners say the link can be revisited when New York City decommissions the water tunnel, a move expected in the next decade.)

    Even more troubling to some, NJ Transit and the Port Authority eliminated a connection to the existing Penn Station. Passengers can walk along the sprawling underground concourse to get there, but trains using the new tunnels won't be able to pull alongside the station's platforms or continue on to Connecticut and Boston.

    As a result, Amtrak will be relegated to the old tubes, and NJ Transit will continue to use them even when the new tunnels are open. In a testy letter to the ARC project director last April, former Amtrak president Alex Kummant complained the expensive initiative was now for the "sole benefit" of NJ Transit.

    What's more, he said, the decision to drop the Penn Station connection could require the construction of yet another rail tunnel to help Amtrak meet its expected growth in ridership.

    Amtrak's current president, Joseph H. Boardman, declined to comment for this story, but as chief of the Federal Railroad Administration last year, he echoed Kummant's concerns in a letter to the head of the Federal Transit Administration, which had final say on the ARC project.

    "Given the complexity and cost of such an undertaking, we must make sure that the project delivers every ounce of capacity and flexibility that is reasonably possible," Boardman wrote. "Unfortunately, I do not believe NJT's plans achieve this goal."

    A coalition of passenger groups continues to complain bitterly about the project, calling the new dead-end station a waste of money.

    "It's one of the greatest bamboozle schemes ever put out by a mass transit agency," said Albert L. Papp Jr., vice chair of the National Association of Railroad Passengers. "What NJ Transit has done is propose to build a brand new railroad for its exclusive use. This is unconscionable. There's only one chance to get this right in our lifetime."

    NJ Transit, the lead design agency, said it dropped the Penn Station connection only out of necessity, after test drilling showed unstable rock above the new station's proposed location. As a result, engineers were forced to lower the cavern depth by more than 30 feet. The mezzanine of the new station, known as the Penn Station Expansion, will now lie 150 feet below ground.

    Because of the change, any link to the existing Penn Station would be too steep to safely operate trains, the agency said.

    The project's proponents say that they, too, would have preferred connections to both Penn Station and Grand Central but that the plan, even in a scaled-back form, is too important to delay.

    "The transportation and economic benefits of this project are going to far surpass any of NARP's concerns," said Baldwin, the New Jersey advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. "We can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

    CASSATT'S LEGACY
    At the dawn of the 20th century, the Hudson River was a crowded place. Ferries provided the only means of transport to Manhattan, subjecting travelers to the vagaries of weather and currents.

    Alexander Cassatt, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, perceived a better way, one he believed would ultimately provide great benefit to his bottom line. He proposed a set of tunnels though the Palisades, descending below the river in Hoboken, and continuing to the world's grandest station, where a second set of tunnels would push out east to Long Island.

    Editorial writers compared the project to the construction of the Panama Canal, which at the time was still years from completion. Cassatt's investors despised the idea.

    "The shareholders thought it was a colossal waste of money," said Jill Jones, author of "Conquering Gotham," a book that chronicles the work. "Many people believed the whole project would fail because the tunnels would fail."

    Indeed, previous efforts showed tunnel-boring was dangerous, uncertain work. Laborers known as sandhogs toiled deep underground, breathing compressed air in pressurized chambers that made them susceptible to the bends. Men sometimes died in cave-ins. They drowned when river water exploited cracks and rushed in. They were killed while handling dynamite.

    An ambitious campaign to dig the first Hudson River tunnels -- now the PATH tubes -- proved particularly deadly. On one day alone -- July 21, 1880 -- 20 men drowned when the river breached one of the tunnels, which were financed by the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad.

    Work was abandoned, only to be started again years later. The tunnels finally opened for service in 1908, two years ahead of the Pennsylvania Railroad tubes.

    Given the many perils, Cassatt's tunnels had a remarkable safety record, Jones said, with just two lives lost.

    continued...
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

    Things to do in NJ: Attraction Guide
    Where to Stay in NJ: Hotel Guide
    What's Happening in NJ: Event Guide
    NJ Visitor & Vacation Guide Request Form

    AboutNewJersey.com on Facebook
    The Jersey Shore on Facebook


    New Jersey Proud!
    Let's GO RUTGERS and New Jersey Devils!!!
    The Proud to be New Jersey Teams!


  3. #23
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Toms River NJ (Jersey Shore)
    Posts
    1,551

    Default continued...

    Not that it was easy or quick.

    Under the river, sandhogs pushed heavy shields through the muck, opening doors that allowed silt to flow through. Donkeys hauled the material away in carts. At the river's edges, the workers used axes to hack away at pier pilings and other debris, Jones said.

    Because separate teams began tunneling on each side of the river, with plans to meet in the middle, alignment meant everything. The workers triangulated their positions several times a day, using piano wire that stretched out of the tunnels and up to towers on shore.

    With every 2 feet, 10 inches gained, the sandhogs assembled large iron rings, forming the tubes' skeletons.

    Progress could be painstaking.

    Some days, Jones said, the workers made just 3 feet or less. Others, they advanced 30 feet. Through the life of the project, workers averaged about 14 feet a day, she said.

    The first two teams met beneath the Hudson in 1906, three years after the start of construction. The two tunnels would open to the public four years later. Even then, Jones said, railroad officials worried the tubes wouldn't be safe because they shifted ever so slightly with the current. They still do so today.

    "Having 750-ton trains going back and forth all day, they watched this with a fair amount of trepidation," Jones said. "But in the end, all was well."

    CLAWING THROUGH THE ROCK
    A century later, the philosophy of digging a tunnel remains largely the same, but the methods and technology have vastly improved.

    Instead of piano wire to gauge position, today's workers use lasers and satellites. Custom-built tunnel-boring machines powered by electricity and controlled by computers claw through rock at a rate of 30 to 40 feet per day, reducing the need for blasting.

    The leading edge of each machine, a disc more than 24 feet in diameter, is outfitted with some 50 wheels made of special steel alloys. When the machine advances, the wheels form concentric rings, splitting the rock ahead, said Dick Flanagan, the project's chief tunnel engineer.

    The excavated pieces, generally smaller than a fist, then pass behind the machine on conveyor belts. The entire assembly stretches more than 300 feet, Flanagan said.

    Beneath the Hudson, a similar boring mechanism known as an earth pressure balance machine is expected to advance up to 30 feet per day, using soil rippers to push through the silt. The machines operate without the need for compressed air, sparing modern sandhogs from the risk of the bends.

    Some challenges are expected near the New Jersey shoreline, where the tough diabase -- igneous rock -- of the Palisades gives way to softer shale, siltstone and clay.

    Dave Donatelli, project manager for the consortium of engineering and design firms working on ARC, said such mixed-base conditions can be dealt with by literally freezing patches of soft earth ahead with liquid nitrogen.

    That allows the rock cutters to grind away without encountering a flood of runny material. A cementlike grout could achieve the same purpose, Donatelli said.

    "It's extremely complex, but it's not something that we as engineers haven't done before," he said.

    The tunnels will be lined with concrete, which can be poured on-site or delivered in sections.

    In Manhattan, where the new station will sit in bedrock 450 million years old, workers will do more blasting. They also will use drilling jumbles, hydraulically powered machines with multiple arms.

    Work on many of the project's various segments will take place at the same time, with construction expected to reach its busiest phase in 2012.

    It is certain to be a test of organization and choreography.

    "You'll have materials coming out of shafts and materials going into shafts, so you've got to take a systems approach," Flanagan said. "There's 100 things going on at once."

    By the time the digging is done, workers will have cut through more than 8 miles of the underground, excavating an estimated 2 million cubic yards of rock, soil and silt -- enough material, Donatelli says, to fill Giants Stadium.

    Some of that material will form the base of a new 82-acre rail yard in Kearny. More will be used to line embankments for new tracks that will run alongside the Northeast Corridor from Secaucus to the tunnels in North Bergen. Leftovers will be sent to approved dump sites.

    All of it will be hauled by trucks. Day in and day out, dump trucks will head to and from Kearny and Secaucus. In Manhattan, where the most rock and soil will be excavated, an estimated 255 trucks per day -- 10 to 11 per hour -- will head to New Jersey and back through the Lincoln Tunnel.

    ADDING UP THE COSTS
    Taken in its entirety, it is expensive work, and it could grow even more expensive as construction moves ahead. Even the plan's backers say they won't be surprised if the final price tag -- financed entirely with public dollars -- runs $1 billion or more above projections.

    As late as October of last year, planners said the work would cost $7.6 billion, or $1.1 billion below the current estimate. ARC spokesman Paul Wyckoff said the projection was raised because the Federal Transit Administration required that project managers factor in inflation at a higher rate and budget at least $500 million more for contingencies.

    As it stands now, the Port Authority has committed $3 billion. NJ Transit has secured $1.5 billion, and an additional $1.25 billion will come from New Jersey toll revenues. The federal government is expected to fund the remaining $3 billion.

    Zupan of the Regional Plan Association said the possibility of additional costs in the years ahead might seem hard to swallow, but he argued the expense should be measured in terms of the tunnels' life span.

    "Once you build it, you'll probably have it not for 100 years but 200 years," Zupan said. "After all, the existing tunnels are 100 years old, and there's no sign we're going to shut them down. So the fact that it cost $1 billion or $2 billion more in 2009 is going to be pretty inconsequential when someone looks at it in 2109."

    This statement is what I've been arguing ALL along -
    ...the tunnels will spur investment in Manhattan, creating an estimated 44,000 jobs. Many of those employees will come from New Jersey, Zupan says, citing studies that show 89 percent of new growth in the city draws workers from the west.

    "People in New Jersey get access to higher-paying jobs in New York, and New York can tap into a highly skilled work force in New Jersey,"
    New Jersey politicians are so proud that once again - we get the crumbs from the construction jobs - while New York gets the long term benefits of more high paying jobs. Don't forget - we then have to build hospitals and expand our schools - which are what costs more in tax money than what residents actually bring in in taxes. We NEED BUSINESSES!!! We need to worry about Camden, Newark and Trenton. Zupan doesn't acknowledge the fact that if we attracted these businesses into New Jersey cities, we can have those high paying jobs right here in New Jersey, and reap the benefits of the corporate taxes that continue to make New York thrive.

    It's no wonder New Jersey is bankrupt with the idiots we have supposedly representing this state!

    Now that the project is approved, they can say what it was all about the entire time. Getting workers from New JERSEY - into New York and supporting the Manhattan economy while our cities - just become bedroom communities and New Jersey gets more sprawl, traffic and exurbia and HIGHER TAXES because we don't have the ratables coming from the businesses.

    I posted on the NJ.com blog under the article, but I don't know if it will be approved...

    It's just more exporting of our jobs into New York, as our cities struggle to survive. New York thrives on the backs of New Jersey and this is just more proof. As Camden and Newark struggle to get back their feet, our politicians continue to make it impossible to attract businessed into our cities and then waste money on rail extensions and tunnels to by-pass our cities to take them directly to Philadelphia and New York. How much do our politicians get in campaign donations from New York in Philadelphia? When will New Jerseyans demand that our politicians put New Jersey first???


    You can read more about it at -
    http://forum.aboutnewjersey.com/showthread.php?t=356

    For those who say this is the first time they are hearing of it being a passenger tunnel - that message thread was started on May 15, - 3 YEARS ago.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

    Things to do in NJ: Attraction Guide
    Where to Stay in NJ: Hotel Guide
    What's Happening in NJ: Event Guide
    NJ Visitor & Vacation Guide Request Form

    AboutNewJersey.com on Facebook
    The Jersey Shore on Facebook


    New Jersey Proud!
    Let's GO RUTGERS and New Jersey Devils!!!
    The Proud to be New Jersey Teams!


  4. #24
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Toms River NJ (Jersey Shore)
    Posts
    1,551

    Default

    This is somewhat off topic from the 2nd rail link to manhattan - but we have touched on it here too - and that is the rail extension into Gloucester to get commuters into Philadelphia. same story - different city. Well almost - I guess some people have developed a brain and have started to say - wait - what are the benefits for New Jersey?

    Gloucester County rail link to Camden, Philly gets on track
    By Shankar P.
    5/12/2009


    The much-awaited extension of passenger rail service from Camden to Gloucester County is to get closer to reality today, as Gov. Jon S. Corzine is scheduled to announce the project at an event in Gloucester County’s Woodbury this afternoon.

    The Delaware River Port Authority, which runs the Port Authority Transportation Corp., or PATCO, service, had originally proposed the project to help the rapidly developing Gloucester County cope with its population growth and traffic congestion.

    The new rail line would use existing Conrail tracks that run the 18.5 miles between Glassboro to Gloucester City and Camden, from where it runs another 4.4 miles into Center City Philadelphia, according to a DRPA document.

    The New Jersey State Planning Commission earlier this year endorsed the plan to use the existing Conrail tracks over a few other options. Two of those options were to run the service down the medians of major highways — one following Route 42 and the Atlantic City Expressway, the other along Route 55 to Glassboro.

    Jay Corbalis, a policy analyst at New Jersey Future, a Trenton policy think thank, said the plan to use the existing Conrail tracks makes better sense than others because “it will connect older traditional towns, act as a catalyst for centralizing and expanding job growth, reduce highway congestion and counterbalance the forces of sprawl.”

    Tim Evans, director of research at New Jersey Future, said he likes the plan over those of the highway alignment.

    “When you locate a train station on highways, you don’t get as much pedestrian activity,” he said. “Businesses that depend on pedestrian traffic won’t be able to thrive on a highway.”

    The PATCO extension, as it is planned, would bring new opportunities for businesses in towns along its route, including restaurants, convenience stores and other retail establishments, according to Evans.

    Existing businesses in those towns would benefit also because the rail line would bring commuting options for their employees, Evans said. The alignment linking downtowns would also run within walking distance of large Gloucester County employers, such as Underwood-Memorial Hospital in Woodbury and Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey Future said in a recent policy note on the plan.

    Check NJBIZ.com later this afternoon with updates from the governor’s announcement.

    E-mail to shankar_p@njbiz.com
    I love these quotes here - -

    "it will connect older traditional towns, act as a catalyst for centralizing and expanding job growth, reduce highway congestion and counterbalance the forces of sprawl.”

    “When you locate a train station on highways, you don’t get as much pedestrian activity,” he said. “Businesses that depend on pedestrian traffic won’t be able to thrive on a highway.”
    FINALLY some people looking out for New Jersey and trying to bring some economy benefits to OUR state and towns - instead of always looking at subsidizing out neighboring states.

    Check out the New Jersey Future website.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

    Things to do in NJ: Attraction Guide
    Where to Stay in NJ: Hotel Guide
    What's Happening in NJ: Event Guide
    NJ Visitor & Vacation Guide Request Form

    AboutNewJersey.com on Facebook
    The Jersey Shore on Facebook


    New Jersey Proud!
    Let's GO RUTGERS and New Jersey Devils!!!
    The Proud to be New Jersey Teams!


  5. #25
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Toms River NJ (Jersey Shore)
    Posts
    1,551

    Default NJ Suspending Funding on One Way Tunnel to Manhattan

    NJ is suspending funding on the 2nd rail tunnel to manhattan. I say good start - now all we need to do is KILL the project - and invest in New JERSEY's cities - where are money SHOULD be going to.

    N.J. halts new work on $8.7B N.Y.-N.J. tunnel project due to budget issues
    Published: Sunday, September 12, 2010, 7:00 AM
    Ted Sherman/The Star-Ledger


    New Jersey is temporarily shutting down all new work and suspending additional contract bids on an $8.7 billion railway tunnel to New York because federal officials say the project may go as much as a billion dollars over budget — money New Jersey doesn’t have.

    The federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey already each are putting in $3 billion for the massive public works project, with New Jersey’s share at $2.7 billion.

    The month-long suspension of all new activity — imposed by NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein in the wake of concerns by the Federal Transit Administration — will be used to re-examine the budget numbers.
    "During that 30 days, we’re going to do a full evaluation of our go-forward costs," Weinstein said.

    He added that he hoped to use the time to prove to all parties involved in the project that the $8.7 billion estimate is accurate.

    Work already under way, including a track underpass in North Bergen and a tunnel segment under the Palisades, will be allowed to continue. But all new work, including real estate acquisition and the awarding of one major contract already bid, will be frozen.

    New Jersey officials have long considered the tunnel vital to the state’s economic future as it would relieve the flow of more than 22,000 cars a day between New York and New Jersey, double the rail capacity to the city, and create 6,000 construction jobs.

    More than $600 million has been spent on the project and $1.2 billion has been committed in contracts and obligations.

    "We feel pretty strongly that the current cost estimate, which is $8.7 billion, is a number we can achieve," Weinstein said. "But I’m under clear direction by the governor that this is not going to be a bottomless pit. If we are to go forward, he wants to know the costs and budget are under control."

    The federal government could require New Jersey to add hundreds of millions in contingency funds to the tunnel project budget, if it determined there was insufficient money budgeted to cover overruns on what is already one of the most expensive public works projects in the country.

    A spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie could not be reached for comment.
    However, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) was highly critical of the suspension.

    "This stoppage could put billions of dollars in federal funding at risk. These funds are dedicated to New Jersey and could deprive the state of thousands of desperately needed good-paying jobs," he said. "We have worked hard together for years with the state of New Jersey and the federal government to advance this project, which is critical for New Jersey’s economy and our future."

    He urged Christie to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

    A spokesman for the Port Authority last night deferred all questions to NJ Transit.

    The project, officially known as the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel, is scheduled to be completed by late 2018 and is designed to more than double rail capacity between New Jersey and New York, from 23 trains per hour during peak periods to 48 trains per hour.

    Under the plan, new tracks will be built from Secaucus Junction to North Bergen and the western edge of the Palisades. From there, the tracks will go under Tonnelle Avenue and into two new tunnels that will be bored more than 100 feet below ground.

    The new tunnels will reach Manhattan between 28th and 29th streets, and terminate at a new rail station that will be built deep below 34th Street between 6th and 8th Avenues.

    Critics have long assailed the project for its costs and shortcomings that were unavoidable because of engineering necessity.

    The tunnel does not add any capacity to Amtrak. And the tracks cannot be extended to Grand Central Terminal, which would have eased congestion from New Jersey commuters who work on the East Side, because the route is blocked by a New York City water tunnel. Forced down deep to avoid a subway line, the tracks will arrive at a rail station so far underground that commuters will have to ride up a very long escalator or ride an elevator to get to street level.

    Still, there has been little debate that increased commuter capacity is desperately needed. The number of people riding the trains to New York has increased more than four-fold in the past two decades — a work force that brings back $50 billion a year in income from New York to New Jersey.

    Double-decker train cars and new signaling systems have helped boost the number of trains and available seats, but the bottleneck through which all New York-bound trains must travel — two, century-old tunnels originally built by the Pennsylvania Railroad and now operated by Amtrak — has reached its limit. The tunnels simply cannot accommodate any additional traffic.

    But the estimated cost of the new tunnels has steadily climbed since the project was first approved. The initial projection in 2005 was $5 billion. As recently as 2008, the Federal Transit Administration had asked the state to put in as much as $1.1 billion in contingency expenses to accommodate potential increases in construction costs and interest rates, bringing the price tag from $7.6 billion up to $8.7 billion.

    The new questions over the tunnel’s cost come in the wake of reviews by the FTA of other high-profile New York regional transit project — some well over budget and significantly behind schedule.

    According to FTA projections, the Long Island Rail Road’s $7.3 billion East Side Access project was $800 million over budget and more than 18 months behind schedule. And the plan to create a Second Avenue subway line was found to be roughly $500 million over budget, and now 14 months behind schedule.

    The federal agency has not yet come up with its projections on the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel, said Weinstein. But following a five-month review, it told the state that "based on experience with other major tunneling-projects in the region, additional contingency factors could impact the project’s overall cost estimate."

    Weinstein expects to meet soon with Peter Rogoff, administrator of the FTA, who in public statements has been pegging the tunnel cost at between $9 billion and $10 billion.

    FTA officials could not be reached last night.

    Weinstein remains convinced the tunnel project will survive, although there are other dynamics in play. Money for transportation projects is already in short supply and the nearly broke Transportation Trust Fund — which pays for highway and rail programs — is now on life support and there is little appetite to raise tolls or a gas tax to replenish the capital improvement fund.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

    Things to do in NJ: Attraction Guide
    Where to Stay in NJ: Hotel Guide
    What's Happening in NJ: Event Guide
    NJ Visitor & Vacation Guide Request Form

    AboutNewJersey.com on Facebook
    The Jersey Shore on Facebook


    New Jersey Proud!
    Let's GO RUTGERS and New Jersey Devils!!!
    The Proud to be New Jersey Teams!


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •