With potential federal budget cuts looming, the fate of the Gateway Tunnel project, a plan to build a train tunnel under the Hudson River that would connect New York and New Jersey, remains to be seen just how the projected $30 billion project would be funded. However, Amtrak Chairman Tony Coscia isn’t letting that stand in his way.
At an Association for a Better New York breakfast, Coscia announced that construction on the project could start within the next six months, despite the lack of any financial commitments from the Trump administration to fulfill commitments put forth by the Obama administration to pick up half of the project’s tab, reports Crain’s.
Coscia stated that even if the government is no longer will to provide 50 percent of funding, he believes both New York and New Jersey along with the federal government is committed to making sure that the project is somehow funded in its entirety. “What really matters is that the partners are fully committed to a plan of finance that fully funds the project,” he said.
Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Senator Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand met with the president to discuss to discuss the future of the project but no decisions came from that meeting, reports the New York Times. “While the White House meeting was productive, it was inconclusive,” said Governor Cuomo.
Nevertheless, Coscia believes that once the environmental review process is complete, which should be sometime in March 2018, construction will commence. “We're operating on the basis that sometime shortly after March of 2018 we're going to start construction on these tunnels,” he declared.