WASHINGTON - On June 30, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to include Congressman Josh Gottheimer’s (NJ-5) amendment — that would require the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT) to publish a “Doomsday” contingency plan if the North River train tunnel underneath the Hudson River would need to be shut down before they allow the construction of the Gateway tunnel to move forward — in H.R. 2, the House’s new major infrastructure bill, the Moving Forward Act.
Gottheimer spoke on the House floor this week in support of this amendment. Watch Gottheimer’s remarks HERE.
“The train tunnel underneath the Hudson carries 200,000 people daily between New Jersey and New York. It’s literally crumbling after damage from a century of use and flooding during Superstorm Sandy. It’s in imminent danger of being shut down. They're literally patching up cracks. It's outrageous. Part-time fixes aren't enough. It's time we do something about it,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) on the House floor. “Building the Gateway Tunnel is the most pressing infrastructure need in our country — crucial to our economy. The tunnel connects 20% of America’s GDP. If we don’t fix it, it’ll literally be a Doomsday. The Department of Transportation must explain why they’ve downgraded the project to a lower priority. What’s their secret back-up plan when we have to shut down the tunnel? What are we going to do for the economy? We deserve to know.”
Gottheimer’s legislation now included in H.R. 2, Moving Forward Act, directs the U.S. Department of Transportation to publish a “Doomsday” contingency plan:
- Detailing a specific plan of action in the case of a shutdown of the North River Tunnel under the Hudson River and that addresses issues including ensuring commuters, tourists, and others will maintain the ability to travel between New Jersey and New York and throughout the region; and
- Detailing a specific plan of action to ensure minimal disruption to, and negative impact on national security, the economy, public health, the environment, and property values.
In March 2019, Gottheimer, along with Congressman Peter King (NY-02), introduced these measures as bipartisan legislation requiring the U.S. Department of Transportation outline their plan for a “Doomsday” contingency scenario if one of the tunnels under the Hudson shuts down.