The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), along with Federal Transit Administration (FTA), has published the Final Environment Impact Statement (Final EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) for the Hudson Tunnel Project.
This allows the tunnel project to proceed towards final design and construction.
The organisations involved in the project include New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Port Authority), Amtrak and the Gateway Development Commission (GDC).
The project, which is one module of the Gateway Program, aims to uphold the present functionality of the Northeast Corridor’s (NEC) Hudson River rail crossing between New York and New Jersey.
The Gateway Program includes the involvement of Amtrak, NJ Transit, Port Authority, the GDC and other project partners, such as the states of New York and New Jersey, who are working alongside to carry out other components of programme.
With the issuance of ROD, the project has completed the Federal environmental review process needed under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).
As of now, the project has received no federal funding.
Upon the completion of these two stages, the project has finished the requirement for FRA or FTA to provide future federal funding for the project to proceed via pre-construction activities.
The Final EIS included changes drafted in response to public comments that were received on the Draft EIS from numerous stakeholders.
The project encompasses a new NEC rail tunnel construction under the Hudson River connecting to Penn Station New York.
It also involves the complete restoration of the current 110-year-old North River Tunnel.
After the completion of the rehabilitation work, both the tunnels will offer enhanced operational flexibility to Amtrak and NJ Transit.
In May 2016, FRA began the NEPA review for the project officially.