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Getting Gateway Tunnel Moving With Draft EIS

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The draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Gateway Tunnel Project has been released today. The growing issues for commuters including major delays on public transit and aging infrastructure show the need for a train tunnel under the Hudson River to New York City. This project is really the life-blood of the East Coast because it will double the capacity of the tunnels to transport people to and from New Jersey and New York City. We need this project because it will allow commuters to work in the morning easier, with fewer delays and more trains. This project is desperately need for us to repair and replace those old tunnels in the future and make our transportation system more resilient. The environmental review for the Hudson Tunnel Project is on schedule for completion within two years or less. A combined Final EIS/Record of Decision is expected in March 2018, if not sooner. Public hearings dates and times can be found below. Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, released the following statement:

 

“The desperately needed Gateway Tunnel is moving forward with the release of their Draft Environmental Impact Statement. This tunnel is so critical for commuters and the region it might actually bring us into the 21st century. Our existing rail network is in terrible shape, is old, antiquated and needs to be fixed. That is why we need this project to help get commuters to work and get more cars off the road. A major benefit to this project will be the positive air quality impacts. Given the fact that cars are the biggest source of air pollution in this region, this project is even more needed. Since one train could take 500 cars off the road, we will see millions of tons of air pollution reductions as well as major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The project will not only reduce traffic and air pollution, but create more economic activity.”

 

“This tunnel project is the most important piece of transportation infrastructure we need in the region. We desperately need this tunnel, especially with the constant problems with NJ Transit. The existing tunnels are 100 years old and we need to update this antiquated and failing apart system. This project will allow us to repair and replace those old tunnels in the future and make our transportation system more resilient. Unlike the ARC tunnel, this project allows for more regional connectivity, sending more trains from Washington D.C. to Boston and New York City. It would create a backup tunnel for Amtrak that would service Penn Station, and enable trains to travel from one area of the metropolitan region to another. It will also help the expansion of New Jersey Transit to other areas. It means that more people from the Raritan Valley and other regions of New Jersey will be able to commute non-stop on a one-seat ride. The Moynihan Station will also be expanded to allow more New Jersey trains to come to New York.”

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“The project will increase ridership and make it easier for regional activity. These tunnels are not only vital for New Jersey and New York City, but for the region and the whole Northeast Corridor. It will double the capacity of the tunnels to transport people to and from New Jersey and New York City. The project will allow commuters to work in the morning easier, with fewer delays and more trains. This would expand the train system in New York and New Jersey. This would allow New Jersey passengers to have easy access to the Long Island Railroad. It will allow more through trains from places like Trenton to Montauk, New York or from Bayhead to Greenwich, Connecticut. There will be a train from New Jersey to Sunnyside. The tunnel will even make it easier for our region to get to Boston and Florida. Especially with the need for a new bus terminal at the Port Authority, there will be thousands more commuters being able to take the train until that project is resolved.”

 

“The Gateway tunnel is a win-win for the environment and the economy. Thousands more people are going to be able to commute to New York City and it will also create more jobs during the construction of the tunnel. The project will promote more transit oriented development along the tunnel corridor, while protecting open space. It will revitalize communities because transit villages will be expanded and less people will be driving to work.  New Jersey commuters have experienced hours of delays, breakdown of trains, overcrowding as well as equipment failures. Having more dissatisfied transit riders means more people will drive, adding to traffic, pollution, and sprawl. With more trains moving into New York City and the region, there will be great environmental benefits.”

  

“With this Draft EIS, we know that with every major project there will always be impacts to the environment. The construction of the tunnel could disturb wetlands, and dredge in potential areas that have toxic PCBs in the sediment. From the big picture, this is good for the environment, but we need to make sure where its built that we are protecting the environment too. We should come up with alternatives and mitigation for those impacts, but we still want to make sure its built right. The project plans to use some of existing land that were bought for the ARC tunnel. If they get the right experts, get public support, and have a thorough review, they can accelerate the process. The best way to do this is do the DEIS right the first time.”

 

“We cannot allow tunnel vision to prevent the Gateway from moving forward. We are concerned though that this project may not move forward if President Trump blocks the funding. Without half of the funding from the federal government, there will be no tunnel. We must ensure this region gets the funding it deserve for because we need funding to make it a reality.”

 

Public hearings on the Gateway Tunnel Draft EIS will be held on the following dates:

 

August 1, 2017 Hotel Pennsylvania Skytop Ballroom, 18th floor 401 Seventh Ave at West 33rd St New York, NY 10001

 

August 3, 2017 Secaucus Junction Rail Station Upper Level Long Hallway County Rd & County Ave Secaucus, NJ 07097

August 10, 2017 Union City High School 2500 Kennedy Blvd Union City, NJ 07087

 

Each hearing will include an afternoon and evening session, from 3-5 PM and from 6-8 PM, with a brief presentation at 3:15 PM and again at 6:15 PM. Public comments can be submitted through August 21.

 
The Draft EIS can be found here: http://www.hudsontunnelproject.com/deis.html

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