Governor Murphy tours North River Tunnel in Gateway Tunnel funding push

WOODBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WABC) -- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy toured a Hudson River transit tunnel Monday morning with state legislative leadership and members of New Jersey's congressional delegation.

The goal: to get a firsthand look at the tunnel's aging infrastructure and storm damage.

The 108-year-old North River Tunnel carries hundreds of thousands of passengers each day between New Jersey and New York Penn Station.

It has been in disrepair and in dire need of replacement since extensive damage was caused by Hurricane Sandy.

"The rehabilitation of the existing North River Tunnel and construction of the new Hudson Tunnel is crucial to the tri-state area, and in particular New Jersey," Murphy said in a statement. "It is time for the Trump administration to prioritize the needs of commuters and our nation's economy, and commit to funding the Gateway Program."

According to Amtrak, any major repairs will require at least one tunnel tube to be closed.

That, Murphy said, will have catastrophic effects on our regional and national economies if the new Hudson Tunnel is not constructed by that time.

The Gateway Program will include the construction of a new Hudson Tunnel followed by repairs for the North River Tunnel that will both expand capacity for commuter and regional train service and alleviate pressure on the existing tunnel.

Damage to the aging tunnel has caused countless breakdowns and delays for passengers.

Funding for the Gateway Tunnel Project is estimated to cost $30 billion. Supporters are hoping to secure at least half that amount from the federal government.

"The Gateway Tunnel is the most critical infrastructure project in the country," said Murphy. "Our future economic viability depends on building a new tunnel as soon as possible."

Murphy and his team departed from MetroPark Station in Woodbridge Township at 10:30 a.m. Monday and spent more than an hour touring the tunnels.

The tour ended at New York Penn Station.

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