The Gateway Program would deliver critical rail infrastructure projects between Newark, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Station in New York City (“PSNY”), along the Northeast Corridor (“NEC”). The NEC is the most heavily used passenger rail line in the U.S., with more than 2,000 trains per day carrying approximately 800,000 daily riders across eight states and Washington D.C. It serves a region that is home to 17 percent of the U.S. population and 97 Fortune 500 company headquarters, and an area that contributes 20 percent of the national GDP. The NEC is a vital artery in the region and a critical element of the national transportation network, linking millions of people to good jobs, and connecting this region with the rest of the country.
The Gateway Program focuses on a 10-mile segment of the NEC, and includes a program of projects that would replace and update rail infrastructure assets that, in many cases, are over 100 years old, as well as increase track, tunnel, bridge and station capacity. This segment of the NEC carries over 200,000 daily Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT riders on approximately 450 trains.
The Gateway Program’s first phase includes the construction of a new tunnel under the Hudson River, the rehabilitation of the existing tunnel, the completion of a concrete casing on the West Side of Manhattan to preserve right-of-way for the future tunnel to PSNY, and the replacement of the Portal Bridge.
Later phases of the Gateway Program would include the replacement of the Sawtooth Bridges located in Harrison, New Jersey, and the expansion and modification of PSNY, Newark Penn Station and Secaucus Junction Station (“Bergen/Secaucus Loop”) in New Jersey.
The Gateway Program Development Corporation (GDC), a New Jersey non-profit, was formed in November 2016 to oversee and deliver the Program. GDC works closely with stakeholders, including the United States Department of Transportation, Amtrak, NJ TRANSIT, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to advance this critical program.
This structure and the coordinated efforts from the Gateway Program’s stakeholders build on a call to action in November 2015, by former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senators Cory Booker, Robert Menendez and Charles E. Schumer. At that time, a framework was announced for advancing the Gateway Program, including the formation of the GDC with a board of trustees composed of representatives of Amtrak, USDOT and the States of New Jersey and New York.
November 2015 – The Governors of New York and New Jersey, as well as the U.S. Senators from both states announce a framework for advancing the Gateway Program.
March 2016 – Port Authority Board authorizes up to $35 million for Tunnel’s preliminary engineering (in addition to Amtrak commitment of up to $35 million).
May 2016 – Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and NJ TRANSIT begin work on Environmental Impact Statement for Hudson Tunnel Project.
July 2016 – Hudson Tunnel and Portal North Bridge projects accepted into USDOT’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) pipeline.
September 2016 – Portal North Bridge submitted for inclusion in the FY2018 President’s Budget; request includes full funding plan for the project.
October 2016 – Port Authority Board authorizes debt service support for up to $284 million in borrowing for Portal North Bridge by Gateway Program Development Corporation (GDC), and up to $18 million in associated fees (subject to facility certification and other conditions).
November 2016 – The Gateway Program Development Corporation (GDC) is incorporated as a New Jersey non-profit corporation to advance and deliver the Gateway Program.
January 2017 – GDC enters into Emerging Projects Agreement with USDOT for technical cooperation on low-cost long-term federal loans.
February 2017 – Port Authority Board approves 2017-2026 Capital Plan that includes $2.7 billion for the Gateway Program; amount includes previously authorized funding for preliminary engineering (March 2016) and Portal North Bridge (October 2016, subject to facility certification and other conditions); remainder of Capital Plan amount requires board approval.
May 2017 – NJ TRANSIT Board authorizes the award of the early work construction contract for the Portal North Bridge Project.
July 2017 – Hudson Tunnel Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement released, with public hearings held in NY and NJ.
*Summer/Fall 2017 – Early work to begin in preparation for Portal Bridge construction.
* - denotes future/anticipated milestone