After New York, New Jersey and the federal government were at odds over building a $20 billion tunnel between the states, the U.S. Department of Transportation today applauded steps by the states’ governors to try to reach a funding deal.
“Today the Governors of New York and New Jersey have taken a big step forward: They’ve come to the table,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. in a statement. “We will engage with local officials immediately to initiate the work necessary to assign more reliable cost figures and eligibility for federal grants within existing programs.”
Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie announced today that they will seek federal approval to split the cost for the $20 billion tunnel under the Hudson River.
“We will work towards the goal of an equitable split between the states and the federal government using our existing grant and financing programs and whatever new resources can be provided by Congress,” Foxx continued. “In the meantime, with the state’s active participation, we will work together to expedite the environmental permitting process immediately.”
Sen. Charles Schumer also praised the sides for dropping their funding fight.
“Finally, there is light at the beginning of the tunnel!” Schumer said in a statement. “It is significant and welcome progress that New York and New Jersey have moved away from their position that there should be no state or local financing and have moved to 50 percent.”
He added, “We will work with our delegation partners and the administration to maximize any and all federal and Amtrak grants and financing to get shovels in the ground ASAP.”