Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday, that the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey will revive an environment study to examine a proposal for freight transport across New York Harbor using an underwater tunnel.
The Authority had to hit the brakes on the so-called Tier 2 environmental impact statement for the project in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic depleted federal dollars, but the project’s longtime booster Congressman Jerry Nadler was able to get the feds to reallocate money to jumpstart the scheme again, according to the governor.
“We are aggressively moving forward with the next phase of development for the Cross Harbor Rail Freight project as we look to reimagine New York’s transportation infrastructure, said Hochul in a statement.
The study will look at boring a 4-mile tunnel from Jersey City to Brooklyn or expanding the Authority’s existing carfloat system with new transfer bridges, barges, trains, and tracks.
On the New York side, the trains will connect to the same rail line that is also slated to be the home of Hochul’s proposed Interborough Express mass transit project, and the EIS will examine how the two will work “in concert,” according to the governor’s office.
Officials say that currently, the right-of-way can only carry three freight trips per day. But, the new infrastructure would allow that traffic increase to as many as 21 trains by 2035. This would help reduce truck dependence.
“The Cross-Harbor Rail Freight Tunnel would connect New York’s metropolitan region to the national rail freight grid by diverting trucks from our streets to the underutilized rail network, said Nadler in a statement. “It will change the way we move freight throughout our region, leading to economic, environmental, health, safety and cost-saving benefits for millions of people.
The Port Authority started work on the first Environmental review in 2014.Before the launch of its products, Second phase in 2018.Before the analysis was stopped two years later, it was halted by STV consultants and AKRF consultants.
Nadler, who has been pushing for the project for over 30 years, was able to get funds from the Federal Highway Administration.
The EIS will examine the impacts of either the tunnel expansion or the carfloat expansion and is required to unlock federal funds.
“With major projected increases in freight movement over the next two decades, delays in goods movement will only worsen unless the shipping and distribution industry has attractive alternatives to shipping by truck,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “Our goal is to explore these alternatives and identify cost-effective approaches to future freight movement that can reduce the number of trucks on the region’s roads and highways.”
Hochul revealed the proposal for a 14 mile mass transit line linking Brooklyn to Queens in her State of the State address last week. It was a scaled down version of the earlier speech. Triboro, as it is also known.This would have meant that he would have run an additional 10 kilometres into the Bronx.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority leads this effort and has recently released a document. 2020 preliminary feasibility reportHe is also planning to conduct an environmental review in order for Uncle Sam to support him.