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House Transportation Appropriations Bill Boosts Gateway Commuter Rail Project

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Fiscal Year 2018 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Appropriations bill that will be considered by the House T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee this evening advances key transportation projects in New Jersey, including the Hudson rail tunnel, part of the critically important Gateway project. 

“Now more than ever, it is imperative to our economy and to our quality of life to have safe and well-functioning transportation infrastructure. This bill makes investments in essential highway, air, rail, and maritime programs that will keep our people and our goods moving efficiently,” Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “I am especially pleased that more than $900 million will be allocated to the Gateway program in the New Jersey-New York area in this legislation.” 

“It is not an overstatement to say that Gateway is critical to our nation’s economy.  The Northeast Corridor region, encompassing over 50 million people from Washington D.C. to Boston, produces approximately $3 trillion in economic output, equal to 20% of our national Gross Domestic Product.  Safe and reliable passenger rail travel through New Jersey and New York City is essential to that economic productivity.”

“Rebuilding the Hudson Tunnels is of vital importance to my home state of New Jersey and our region.  From 2002-2014, the number of New Jersey residents commuting to New York City grew by more than 35%.  However, New Jersey residents have been plagued by perpetual delays and decaying infrastructure commuting, and reverse commuting, into New York City.

The Gateway project, especially the proposed new Hudson River Tunnel, serves both public transportation (NJ Transit) and intercity passenger rail (Amtrak).  $500 million will be provided in “rail state of good repair grants” - authorized primarily for NE corridor – from Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) funds.  Another $400 million in transit money is tied to soon-to-ready-for-construction funding for the Hudson Tunnel and the Portal North Bridge.   In addition, a significant portion of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor $328 million in funding will be used to support projects associated with Gateway.

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In total, the Fiscal Year 2018 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development bill reflects an allocation of $56.5 billion in discretionary spending – $1.1 billion below fiscal year 2017 and $8.6 billion above the Administration’s budget request. This funding is targeted to essential investments in transportation infrastructure investments, as well as a variety of community development and housing programs. 

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