RARITAN VALLEY, NJ -- The 32 Mayors of the Raritan Valley Line Mayors Alliance have sent a letter to Congressman Tom Malinowski (D-NJ 7th District) advocating for funding the Gateway Project ahead of Friday's meeting of the US Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing at Port Authority Offices.
The hearing will focus on the Gateway Project that has great importance to communities throughout NJ and the region. The project is the planned phased expansion and renovation of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) rail line between Newark and New York City. If given the go-ahead, the project will build new tunnels under the Hudson River, as well as expand New York Penn through conversion of part of the James Farley Post Office into a train station.
The mayors and transportation experts say that the existing two-track rail line that is used by both Amtrak and NJ Transit has reached its full capacity of 24 trains per hour. If/when the Gateway Project is completed, the improvements would double train capacity across the Hudson River to 48 trains per hour and allow for high-speed rail service, according to GatewayProgram.com.
Congressman Tom Malinowski
75 W. Bridge Street
Somerville, NJ 08876
April 25, 2019
Dear Congressman Malinowski,
The bipartisan Raritan Valley Line Mayors Alliance fear our communities, New Jersey and the region will face dire consequences if there is a shutdown of the Trans Hudson tunnel. The absolute necessity for a new Hudson tunnel and replacement of the Portal Bridge is no longer up for debate. The need for action is critically important and the need is now.
In addition to the devastating impact to the economy, businesses, jobs and home values, a shutdown will seriously diminish the quality of life for our constituents. We are concerned that years of work to successfully revitalize our downtown business districts, attract new investments and promote transit-oriented development will be jeopardized. Further, reduced train service will mean our communities are likely to face increased vehicle traffic to already stressed highways and local roads causing health, safety and environmental risks for our residents.
As mayors, we understand that economic stability and growth in our towns and in the State is tied to safe, modern infrastructure with the ability to move people and goods efficiently. The 100-year old tunnels that were further compromised after Super Storm Sandy are on borrowed time and the implications of inaction are both frightening and unconscionable.
On behalf of the 32 mayors of the RVL Mayors representing more than 400,000 NJ residents, we support and urge immediate funding for the Gateway Project.
RVL Mayors Co-Chairs
Mayor Robert Fazen Mayor Colleen Mahr Mayor Shelley Brindle
Bound Brook Fanwood Westfield