Every day, 200,000 passengers use these tunnel, which connects a region responsible for nearly twenty percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The tunnel was severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and engineering analyses indicate that at least one of the tracks will be forced to shut down within the next decade. This would cut capacity by seventy-five percent, from twenty-four trains per hour to six.
A recent study by the Regional Plan Association (RPA) revealed that this would have an immense negative impact on our national economy, as well as public health. A tunnel shutdown could cause our economy to shrink by $16 billion over a four-year span, equivalent to the loss of 33,000 jobs. Additionally, commute times would rise in some cases by more than an hour, due to thousands of additional cars on the road. This could even lead to an additional one-hundred deaths due to traffic accidents and harmful air pollutants.
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