Hudson Yards Tunnels likely to sit empty for foreseeable future

July 23, 2017 03:00PM

Rendering of Hudson Yards

The towers that make up Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s far west side are rising fast. But underground, things are quieter. Two key pieces of infrastructure — tubes that would link a new tunnel under the Hudson River to Pennsylvania Station — have run out of funding.

“We can’t afford to punt any longer,” Representative Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat from New Jersey, told the New York Times. “That’s frankly why I’m here. You see what’s going on in the ‘summer of hell.’ People are experiencing what’s going to go on when you have 100-year-old tunnels and equipment breaking.”

Work on the project came to a stop after the federal Department of Transportation pulled out of the development in the latest sign that the Trump administration is losing interest in a $23.9 billion infrastructure project considered vital to New York City and New Jersey.

Currently, the first and second sections of the casing are complete, while the third is fully designed but lack construction funding. According to the Times, it could be a long wait for funding to materialize, since a recent report estimated that the new Hudson River tunnels will cost nearly $13 billion, more than $5billion over the original estimate. If Congress funds the project in the near future, construction could begin by fall 2019 and wrap up in spring 2026. But in a era of political mayhem and division, nothing is certain.