New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) Executive Director Rick Cotton have signed the Phase One Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining funding sources, uses and timing for the Portal North Bridge and Hudson Tunnel Project.
The two projects are key components of the Gateway Program, which aims to improve reliability, resiliency and redundancy of rail service on the Northeast Corridor. The Phase One MOU is required by the Gateway Development Commission Act, which is legislation that passed in both New York and New Jersey and establishes funding and oversight framework for the program.
Phase One of the Gateway Program is funded by a combination of federal and local sources, including $2.7 million from PANYNJ.
The Portal North Bridge is being funded with a $766.5-million Full Funding Grant Agreement from the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Improvement Grants Program, Amtrak is contributing $97 million and New York and New Jersey are each contributing $386.2 million per state. New Jersey Transit awarded a $1.56 billion construction contract – the largest in the agency’s history – in October 2021 to Skanska/Traylor Bros PNB Joint Venture (STJV) to construct the new bridge. A ceremonial groundbreaking was held for the project in October 2021 and a Notice to Proceed was issued for the project in April 2022.
The Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision for the Hudson Tunnel Project in May 2021. New York and New Jersey will split the local share portion of the project cost, similar to the Portal North Bridge project, with both governors stating their intention to work with project partners and federal entities “to aggressively pursue greater federal sources of funding for the Gateway Program through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.”
Both governors and representatives from PANYNJ stressed the national significance of the Gateway Program and noted the significant step forward the signing of the Phase One MOU represents.
“By signing the Phase One Memorandum of Understanding, we are establishing the framework to get this project over the finish line and are making good on our promise to modernize the state’s transportation infrastructure and create a mass transit system worthy of New Yorkers,” said Gov. Hochul.
“It is a project of enormous consequence for the many millions of riders who will benefit from it and it will be a significant driver of economic growth for the entire New Jersey-New York region,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole.
Rick Cotton added, “We are delighted to see real progress being made toward a better, more reliable travel experience for rail customers throughout our region.”
The next phase of the project will include detailed responsibilities for each of the project partners with respect to delivery of the Hudson Tunnel Project.
“The Gateway Project reflects the importance of New Jersey’s regional partnerships and its alignment with the Biden Administration’s infrastructure and transportation priorities. As we proceed with construction of a new tunnel under the Hudson River, we advance one step closer toward a New Jersey that is better connected and better positioned to reap the full economic benefits of our status as a regional crossroads,” said Gov. Murphy.