Rep. Zeldin Joins NY/NJ Members Urging Funding for Hudson River Gateway Tunnel Project | Congressman Lee Zeldin

Rep. Zeldin Joins NY/NJ Members Urging Funding for Hudson River Gateway Tunnel Project

March 9, 2018
Press Release

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WASHINGTON - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) joined Representatives Leonard Lance (NJ-7), Peter T. King (NY-1) , Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2), John J. Faso (NY-19), Chris Smith (NJ-4), Dan Donovan (NY-11), Tom MacArthur (NJ-3), and Claudia Tenney (NY-22) in urging Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to continue Congressional funding for the Hudson River Gateway Tunnel project amid reports he had be urged not to fund the infrastructure project.

 

“The Northeast is an economic powerhouse.  It is home to 51 million people – one in seven Americans – and four of the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.  The Northeast accounts for 30 percent of all jobs in the United States, 20 percent of the Nation's gross domestic product and contributes $3 trillion annually to the U.S. economy,” the Members wrote. “The Northeast Rail Corridor is the region’s backbone. It is the most heavily used passenger rail line in the United States serving more than 750,000 people every day on more than 2,200 intercity and commuter trains.  The Northeast Rail Corridor is a moneymaker for Amtrak and the Federal Government.  In 2016, nearly 3.5 million riders spent $593.7 million on seats on the high-speed Acela Express between Union Station in Washington and South Station in Boston.”

 

A PDF of the signed letter is available here.

 

Full text of the letter is as follows:

 

The Honorable Paul D. Ryan

Speaker of the House of Representatives

H-232, United States Capitol

Washington, D.C.  20515

 

Dear Speaker Ryan:

 

We write in strong support for the Hudson River Gateway Tunnel project amid reports that President Trump is pushing congressional leaders not to fund this crucial infrastructure project of national significance.

 

The Northeast is an economic powerhouse.  It is home to 51 million people – one in seven Americans – and four of the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.  The Northeast accounts for 30 percent of all jobs in the United States, 20 percent of the Nation's gross domestic product and contributes $3 trillion annually to the U.S. economy.

 

The Northeast Rail Corridor is the region’s backbone. It is the most heavily used passenger rail line in the United States serving more than 750,000 people every day on more than 2,200 intercity and commuter trains.  The Northeast Rail Corridor is a moneymaker for Amtrak and the Federal Government.  In 2016, nearly 3.5 million riders spent $593.7 million on seats on the high-speed Acela Express between Union Station in Washington and South Station in Boston.

 

Passenger and freight travel up and down this 457 mile corridor is critical to the economy of the entire country.  Yet century-old tunnels under the Hudson River have deteriorated because of age, exhaustive use and saltwater infiltration during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  These tunnels are at the vortex of the Northeast Rail Corridor.  If one of these tunnels were to fail, the negative economic and transportation implications would ripple to other States such as Kentucky, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, North Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

 

The Hudson River Gateway Tunnel project would supplement the century-old tunnels. The House included $900 million in potential funding for the project in a spending bill that it passed in September. And according to the Northeast Corridor Commission, underinvestment in the Northeast Corridor has already cost the economy $500 million annually. Any further degradation or delays will only increase these economic costs.

 

We urge you to reject any effort to jeopardize this project of national significance and ask that we meet with you personally.  We look forward to your response.

 

Sincerely,