Construction is expected to start later this year on an 800-foot-long Amtrak train tunnel that's part of a larger rail project to create a new connection between Manhattan and New Jersey, but it will be several years before trains ever traverse the tunnel. The "box tunnel" will one day be a rail link connecting Manhattan's future Moynihan Station with Amtrak's Gateway Project?two things that don't yet exist. So why build the tunnel now? The Post reports that Amtrak must complete the tunnel before Related Companies constructs the Hudson Yards deck over the railyards, which would supposedly make building the tunnel impossible. Additionally, the federal government has committed funding to the project.
Related Companies has no obligation, financial or otherwise, to the rail project, but Senator Chuck Schumer told the Post that the company could have stopped the tunnel. "They're doing it in such a way that their foundations and the box tunnel will be in synch," Schumer told the Post. There's no firm timeline for Amtrak's Gateway project (or really Moynihan Station), so who knows when this new tunnel will actually carry trains, but officials say it's a vital link for an upgraded system. Some of the funding is actually coming from the Hurricane Sandy relief package, as the project is considered "mitigation" to protect transportation infrastructure from future storms and flooding.
· Fed Money Keeps Rail Tunnel Alive [NYP]
· Hudson Yards coverage [Curbed]
· Moynihan Station coverage [Curbed]
· Amtrak Gateway Project [Wikipedia]