FTA rating leaves Gateway project ineligible for federal funding

March 19, 2019 02:31PM

The Gateway Development Corporation, currently overseeing the estimated $12.7 billion construction of additional tunnels, maintenance and ridership expansion between Newark Penn Station and its Penn Station counterpart in Manhattan, had a significant setback last week when it was omitted from the 2020 federal budget, NJBiz reported. According to an analysis by Bloomberg, the proposed tunnels and other upgrades, collectively known as the Gateway Program, received a low-priority rating from the Federal Transit Administration leading to its omission from the budget. Former President Barack Obama promised matching funds towards the repairs and upgrades proposed by the development corporation after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. In 2017, the Gateway Program made significant strides when former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed to commit a combined $5.55 billion toward the construction of a portal bridge in Kearny and a new tunnel, the latter a key cog in the Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor. But bureaucratic infighting and the Trump administration’s skepticism about the commuter project have kept it in a holding pattern. Cuomo’s office released a statement on March 19 criticizing the Trump administration’s lack of support for the Gateway Program. In a press conference, Cuomo called the decision “political retaliation” by Trump against regions that did not support his bid for the presidency. [NJBiz]