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Cuomo plans Penn Station expansion, but crucial tunnel repairs are stymied

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Plus, a water main break flooded the streets of the Upper West Side—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

Max Touhey |

Good morning, and welcome to New York Minute, a new roundup of the New York City news you need to know about today. Send stories you think should be included to

A $11.3 billion plan to replace century-old Penn Station tunnels is stalled

Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a proposal to expand Penn Station by adding eight new tracks and repurposing Madison Square Garden theater into a new entrance for the train hub. But some of the proposals he outlined have been in the works for years and, as the New York Times reports, expanding the station will not solve a lingering issue: the need to replace the century-old rail tunnels used by New Jersey Transit trains, under the Hudson River.

A $11.3 billion plan to replace those rail tunnels, known as Gateway, has recently stalled because it requires federal funding which the Trump Administration does not seem to want to provide. The plan, as the Times puts it, is “widely considered the most important infrastructure project in the country.”

Gov. Cuomo has been in talks with President Donald Trump about the project, but the funding and necessary approvals continue to be stalled. According the Times, the states of New York and New Jersey have pledged to fund half of the project, but the federal government hasn’t budged. In a statement, the Federal Transit Administration told the Times that the Gateway project was not eligible for federal funding because it “did not meet the requirements in law,” but didn’t specify what those requirements were.

And in other news...

  • A water main break flooded the streets of the Upper West Side, suspending the 1, 2, and 3 trains between 42nd and 96th streets.
  • Between January and September 2019, NYCHA residents filed nearly 60,000 roaches and bedbugs complaints, new data acquired by the Legal Aid Society shows.
  • It was unusually warm in the city the past few days, which has made some cherry blossoms flower in Central Park.
  • At least two dozen cases of rent overcharge have been brought in the five boroughs since June, and landlord attorneys told the Real Deal that it’s due to the new rent laws.
  • And, finally, this 6-square-foot studio popped up on the streets of the East Village—and its price is not that far from reality: