New York Tunnel Project Makes DOT Grant History

Jerry Ashworth
July 10, 2024 at 09:50:20 ET
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If you thought the replacement of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Md., was a huge federally funded project for the Department of Transportation (DOT), as the saying goes, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

DOT has now launched the Hudson River Tunnel project, which will construct a new rail tunnel between New York and New Jersey, becoming the largest project in DOT’s history. DOT’s Federal Transit Agency (FTA) — marking its largest single grant ever awarded — on Monday stated that it is investing about $6.9 billion in Capital Investment Grant funding to help build the tunnel and rehabilitate the existing North River Tunnel, which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. In addition, DOT approved three Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loans through the Build America Bureau totaling $4.1 billion to provided financial support a below-market interest rates.

Other sources of USDOT support for the project include:

  • $3.8 billion through the Federal Railroad Administration federal fiscal year (FY) 2022-2023 Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program for the Northeast Corridor Program;
  • $1 billion through Amtrak annual grant funding;
  • $25 million through DOT’s 2023 Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program for the Tonnelle Avenue Bridge Project; and
  • $292.1 million through DOT’s 2022 National Infrastructure Project Assistance grant program for the Hudson Yard Concrete Casing Phase 3 project.

“Today represents a major milestone in a years-long effort to build a new Hudson River crossing that has included DOT, Congress, two states, Amtrak, the Port Authority, local officials, labor partners and more,” said U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “Together we are investing in a project that will continue to move Americans forward and contribute to the economic vitality of the nation.”

The Hudson Tunnel Project will provide a new double-track tunnel between the Bergen Palisades in New Jersey and Manhattan in New York City, rehabilitate the North River Tunnel and create a concrete casing at Hudson Yards to allow the new tunnel to connect to New York-Penn Station. According to DOT, these elements will collectively enhance service, improve reliability, modernize design and mitigate the impact of future natural disasters, ensuring a seamless rail network.

The project is expected to some take time, however. When the new tunnel and the rehabilitated tunnel open, estimated by 2038, the project will provide four modern rail tunnels for Amtrak and NJ Transit trains. In addition, the project will provide the capability to significantly expand capacity in the future. DOT adds that the project will build resiliency and safeguard rail operations against future extreme weather events, managing floods on both sides of the Hudson River, and creating a safer environment for first responders, maintenance workers and the public, especially in the event of an evacuation.

Join us for our following Thompson Grants events:
Thompson Grants Workshop: Audits | July 18, 2024 | Virtual Event
Federal Grants Forum State and Local Governments | Sept. 10-11, 2024 | Virtual Event