President Joe Biden announced during a visit to New York City on Tuesday $1.2 billion in federal funding for nine key infrastructure projects, the largest of which is the Hudson Tunnel Project on the northeast commuter rail corridor. The $292 million for the Hudson Tunnel Project will see an entirely new tunnel built, followed by heavy refurbishment of the two existing single-track crossings. The multimillion-dollar investment comes from the National Infrastructure Project Assistance Discretionary Grant Program, part of Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, passed in late 2021.
The current tunnel’s two separate tubes opened in late 1910 and carry Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains under the Hudson River and connect Manhattan’s Pennsylvania Station with Weehawken, N.J. They allow for a maximum of 24 trains per hour on what is the busiest commuter rail corridor in the country. More than 450 trains carry 200,000 passenger trips per day during the week through the tunnel. Both underpasses were damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The U.S. Department of Transportation says on the project website: “It is in poor condition as a result of storm damage and requires regular and, occasionally, emergency maintenance that disrupts service for hundreds of thousands of rail passengers throughout the region. Despite the ongoing maintenance, the tunnel’s systems continue to degrade and can only be addressed through a comprehensive rehabilitation of the tunnel.”
Biden also highlighted eight other large infrastructure projects across several states. The other major grants announced is $250 million for the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky, as well as $150 million for the Louisiana Department of Transportation for improvements to the Calcasieu River Bridge along a busy stretch of interstate, and also $117 million to improve a two-mile corridor of Illinois’ Metra Commuter Railroad. That corridor includes 11 separate bridge replacements.
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