U.S. DOT announces major milestone for Hudson Tunnel Project

Agencies issued the Final Environment Impact Statement and Record of Decision for the project

May 28, 2021 / 2 minute read
U.S. DOT announces major milestone for Hudson Tunnel Project
Image: NJ Transit

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today jointly issued the Final Environment Impact Statement (EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) for the Hudson Tunnel Project.

Completion of the Final EIS and ROD represents U.S. DOT’s commitment to working with New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in coordination with other project partners including Amtrak and the Gateway Development Commission (GDC), to advance the Hudson Tunnel Project towards final design and construction.

“This is a big step for the Northeast, and for the entire country, as these tunnels connect so many people, jobs, and businesses," U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. "This decision is also an important reminder that we are still capable of working together to advance ambitious projects that can make life better for people, connect communities, and deliver a stronger future. Now we need to make sure to provide the funding America needs to deliver world-leading infrastructure in this region and in every part of the country.”

The Hudson Tunnel Project is one component of the Gateway Program. Amtrak, NJ Transit, Port Authority, and the GDC are working with the other project proponents and partners, including the states of New York and New Jersey, to advance other components of the more encompassing Gateway Program.

The ROD represents completion of the Federal environmental review process required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). While no Federal funding has been dedicated for the project to date, completion of these two steps is a prerequisite for FRA or FTA to direct future federal funding to advance this project through pre-construction activities such as engineering, final design development, and property acquisition, as well as construction. 

The Final EIS incorporated changes made in response to public comments received on the Draft EIS from a broad range of stakeholders. It sets forth a rigorous evaluation of the “Preferred Alternative,” which consists of construction of a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River, including railroad infrastructure in New Jersey and New York connecting the new rail tunnel to the existing Northeast Corridor and rehabilitating the existing NEC tunnel beneath the Hudson River, known as the North River Tunnel, once the new tunnel is complete. When the rehabilitation is complete, both the existing and new tunnels would be in service, providing redundant capacity and increased operational flexibility for both Amtrak and NJ Transit.

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SOURCE: Federal Railroad Administration

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