The feds want to take a page out of Gov. Cuomo’s playbook to fix a pair of crumbling century-old rail tunnels beneath the Hudson River.
Owned by Amtrak, the tunnels were severely damaged in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy — and officials previously planned to build a pair of new tunnels beneath the river so trains could have somewhere to go while the current tubes closed for repairs.
But U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao testified to members of Congress Thursday that the tunnels could be fixed without without a full shutdown, and cited Cuomo’s last-minute changes to repair plans for the L train’s East River tunnel as an example of how it could work.
Tom Wright, CEO of the Regional Plan Association, which has for years warned of an economic catastrophe if the current tunnels fail, accused Chao of keeping the new tunnels from being built. Since 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation has delayed a key environmental impact statement required to move the project forward.
“Fixes to the tunnels are necessary but do not replace the critical need for building new tunnels, which starts with issuing a positive Record of Decision on the Environmental Impact Statement now,” said Wright. "This must remain the top priority.”
Read more in the New York Daily News.