Gateway 2020: A tunnel in peril, and an oblivious president. This is a recording | Editorial

The president mentioned infrastructure exactly once in his State of the Union Address Tuesday, as a yawning prelude to how Congress should pass a highway authorization bill, but he never said one word about all the things that needed fixing decades ago.

All together, Donald Trump read 6,200 of his best words, and not one was “rail” or “transit” or “bus.” He never mentioned “airports” or “bridges” or “water systems.” America First? Not in ways that actually help Americans.

This was predictable but still infuriating, especially if you were among the thousands stranded for three hours the night before by a power failure on a New Jersey Transit train, parked inside a Hudson River tunnel that is still — broken record alert — in danger of failing.

To wit: A study from the Regional Plan Association showed that just a partial tunnel shutdown — to repair one of the two existing tubes — would cost the US $16 billion in economic activity. In New Jersey, 38,000 NJ Transit riders would have to find alternate ways to get to work, and property values would fall by $22 billion.