Governor's Penn Station Overhaul Plan Lacks Tunnel Vision

Building a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River has long been touted as essential to commuters’ sanity — and to New York and New Jersey’s economic well-being.

But with that push stalled over a funding fight with Washington, Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a plan Monday that would add eight tracks to Penn Station and require razing an entire city block south of the transit hub — with barely a mention of the proposed Gateway tunnel.

“These are two projects that are important to each other and this is an important step for Penn Station,” said Brian Fritsch, campaign manager for the Build Gateway Now Coalition, which includes business, civic and labor groups on both sides of the river. “But for trans-Hudson capacity, Gateway is totally necessary.”

The Gateway program to connect New York and New Jersey through a new rail link in the Hudson River has been stalled over funding objections from President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, the Federal Railroad Administration is nearly two years overdue in releasing an environmental impact statement on a new tunnel, a delay that advocates say brings failure of the existing passage even closer.

“It’s really ridiculous that it’s taken that long,” Fritsch said.

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