- Published: 11 April 2017
- Written by John Bobsin
If you think New York's transit situation is bad, it will only get worse, if infrastructure continues to be neglected. That's the theme of an opinion piece in the New York Times (April 11) by the U.S. senators from New York and New Jersey. In the column, Sens. Booker, Gillibrand, Menendez, and Schumer warned that if we don't act "soon" to repair the aging and flood-damaged tunnels under the Hudson, the recent chaos due to a train derailment (see article below) will become "a permanent reality." They then go on to describe Amtrak's Gateway project, which would include two new tunnels along with many other improvements. The senators warn that key Federal funding sources needed to implement Gateway would be slashed in the budget that President Trump has proposed. Gateway is important, the senators added, but is only "an illustration of the country’s immense need for infrastructure investments." They contrasted the President's stated commitment to massive infrastructure investment, but lack of specifics and budget cuts instead, with what they said were Democrats' actual plans to invest in the country's infrastructure. If the budget proposals go forward, the senators warned of a "hair-raising transit apocalypse" to come.
The Lackawanna Coalition is dubious that funding can be secured for the very expensive Gateway project; the essential component is the tunnels, which can be built for a fraction of the total cost of Gateway; only one single-track tunnel would avoid the "apocalypse" the senators envision. Two tunnels, of course, would be better, if the money can be found.