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chris08876 Jul 10, 2015 1:55 PM

Will the Gateway tunnel ever happen? Amtrak has bet $300 million that it will

Quote:

A new train tunnel linking New York and New Jersey, seen by experts as crucial to relieving the bottleneck under the Hudson River, is on the verge of getting underway.

"We're doing it," Amtrak Chairman Anthony Coscia told the Crain's editorial board Wednesday.

Mr. Coscia said Amtrak could begin the environmental review process this fall, and has already spent about $300 million on preparatory work and land acquisition, even though the estimated $15 billion needed for the larger Gateway project, which includes the tunnel, has not been lined up.

"We're taking precious resources and spending it on a project we don't have all the money to build," he said. "It's either a very silly decision or a very critical one."

He's betting on the latter. By his reckoning, a tunnel has to be built sooner or later, and sooner is better. The two heavy-rail tunnels connecting New Jersey and New York are more than 100 years old. and are showing their age. Twenty-four trains pass through the tunnels each hour—20 from New Jersey Transit, four from Amtrak—and officials predict that within 20 years, one or both tunnels will need to be closed for repairs. That would reduce capacity to six trains per hour, because trains traveling in opposite directions would need to wait for the lone remaining tunnel to clear.

The loss of one tunnel would be "cataclysmic" to the regional economy, the undersecretary of transportation for the Obama administration, Peter Rogoff, said at a May conference. He said Gateway was "the most important rail project in the United States."

Mr. Coscia said Amtrak has sketched out a potential financing package that includes federal funds, infrastructure bonds and Amtrak's own cash. He said it would premature to discuss who might contribute what. However, the project's numerous stakeholders can be expected to chip in. They include the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New Jersey Transit, New York City, the states of New York and New Jersey, the federal government and of course Amtrak.

Promises to start the Gateway project have been dashed before. In 2012, Sen. Charles Schumer predicted the project could break ground as early as the end of 2013. Months later, the Hudson River tunnels were flooded during Superstorm Sandy and were damaged by salt deposits. But there was a silver lining: federal relief money for the storm allowed Amtrak to fund construction of placeholder "tunnel boxes" under Related Co.'s Hudson Yards project.

The Gateway project was unveiled in February 2011 after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, citing potential cost overruns, killed another project called Access to the Region's Core, which was to include a train tunnel under the Hudson. The Gateway project promises to be better in part because its landing site—between West 30th and West 31st streets and Seventh and Ninth avenues—is optimal. But securing that space presents more complications than the ARC plan's 34th Street entry point would have.
============================
http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article...0-million-that

mrnyc Jul 12, 2015 2:26 PM

so the stage is set and they are lining up their ducks to get'r done. we'll see, but thats good news for now.

chris08876 Jul 12, 2015 2:42 PM

Once they get past all the environmental bs and litigation maybe. Will be much higher than 15 billion in the long run. Even if its finished by 2030, way too long. City needs this. Shitty Christie needs to leave office first. (not that he's governing anyways.... too busy working on a campaign that's going nowhere). Still, preperation work is a positive step forward. Really time is the issue.

Overcrowding is an issue. Not just on NJ Transit, but within the NYC subway. Will only get worse, not better. Again, going back to the issue of time. Relief will come in the long run, but I would expect a decade or more of dealing with overcrowded, overcapacity transit lines.

phoenixboi08 Jul 13, 2015 2:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chris08876 (Post 7092612)
Once they get past all the environmental bs and litigation maybe. Will be much higher than 15 billion in the long run. Even if its finished by 2030, way too long. City needs this. Shitty Christie needs to leave office first. (not that he's governing anyways.... too busy working on a campaign that's going nowhere). Still, preperation work is a positive step forward. Really time is the issue.

Overcrowding is an issue. Not just on NJ Transit, but within the NYC subway. Will only get worse, not better. Again, going back to the issue of time. Relief will come in the long run, but I would expect a decade or more of dealing with overcrowded, overcapacity transit lines.

I've been lighting candles and preforming rites for the authorization of either GROW AMERICA or DRIVE ACT...

Every little bit helps...

To be fair, I think the one thing we have going for us this time around is the election cycle - and the pesky little thing about the Highway Trust Fund.

I'm confident something will get passed, beyond a CR (I don't know why, just a feeling). The question is what. The administration's proposal seems a little more beefy, but I think what the Senate has proposed has actual teeth. We'll see...

mrnyc Jul 14, 2015 11:42 PM

^ somebody call a doctor we need a triboro rx!

https://keencosmopolitan.files.wordp...rorxsystem.jpg

Nexis4Jersey Jul 15, 2015 12:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrnyc (Post 7095389)
^ somebody call a doctor we need a triboro rx!

https://keencosmopolitan.files.wordp...rorxsystem.jpg

I like the current RX plans which call for an Electrified commuter rapid train line like posted above. But I would make some changes to it , one build a flyover from Bay Ridge Branch to the LIRR Mainline to allow trains to go from Queens to the Bronx and CT. Another would be to extend the Bay Ridge Branch under the Harbor to Staten Island and along the North Shore ROW and into NJ all the way to Raritan. And extend the Lower Montuak into NYP via New East River Tunnels as part of the Next Gen FRA HSR plan.

phoenixboi08 Jul 16, 2015 2:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey (Post 7095433)
I like the current RX plans which call for an Electrified commuter rapid train line like posted above. But I would make some changes to it , one build a flyover from Bay Ridge Branch to the LIRR Mainline to allow trains to go from Queens to the Bronx and CT. Another would be to extend the Bay Ridge Branch under the Harbor to Staten Island and along the North Shore ROW and into NJ all the way to Raritan. And extend the Lower Montuak into NYP via New East River Tunnels as part of the Next Gen FRA HSR plan.

That sounds good to me.

edit: who would end up operating such a service? Do you think they'd give it to LIRR? Wouldn't it portend some amount of integration (and even consolidation) of SIRR and LIRR?

scalziand Jul 16, 2015 2:59 PM

I'd be careful electrifying the Bay ridge Branch in order to leave room for freight.

Nexis4Jersey Jul 16, 2015 4:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 (Post 7097268)
That sounds good to me.

edit: who would end up operating such a service? Do you think they'd give it to LIRR? Wouldn't it portend some amount of integration (and even consolidation) of SIRR and LIRR?

I think a new agency should operate it and all proposed through running service.

mrnyc Jul 17, 2015 2:29 AM

i took a pano of an empty van siclen station in eny the other night

http://i1340.photobucket.com/albums/...psvjdttrhq.jpg

Nexis4Jersey Jul 20, 2015 3:58 PM

CBTC: Communications-Based Train Control

Video Link

Busy Bee Jul 20, 2015 7:09 PM

^ That's one of the best MTA videos I've seen. Kudos to the MTA.

ardecila Jul 20, 2015 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey (Post 7097543)
I think a new agency should operate it and all proposed through running service.

Would be great to give the Atlantic Ave branch of the LIRR over to PATH so you could run trains from Newark-Jamaica. I'm not sure this is possible given the setup of the PATH terminal at the WTC but it would greatly improve regional connections.

mrnyc Jul 21, 2015 11:40 PM

dont hold your breadth, but we have an opening date for the $2.4B single stop extension of the 7 train:

http://www.amny.com/transit/7-train-...015-1.10659941

chris08876 Jul 22, 2015 9:41 PM

Big win for Uber, New York backs down

Quote:

In a big win for Uber, Mayor Bill de Blasio has halted his controversial plan to regulate the company. At least, for now.

De Blasio had proposed a temporarily cap on the number of new licenses issued to Uber and smaller competitors like Lyft. Uber, for instance, would have only been able to increase its license count by 1%, or 200 cars, in a year's time.

On Wednesday, the de Blasio administration said it won't take the bill to the City Council, which was expected to happen as soon as Thursday. The Mayor's office said it would take up the issue again after completing additional studies on traffic congestion and the impact on drivers.
"The cap legislation currently before the City Council will be tabled throughout the traffic study process," said First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris in a statement.

According to the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission, there were 2,000 new vehicle licenses being issued each month -- and the vast majority (72%) of pickups are in congested areas of Manhattan.

The fight over the proposal had turned ugly. Uber had launched a television ad campaign against de Blasio's plan of action -- and even added a fake de Blasio feature to its app that showed massive delays to get Uber if the plan went through.

After the news broke that the city had backed down, general manager of Uber NYC Josh Mohrer tweeted: "Back to work." (The fake de Blasio feature has been removed.)

For its part, the city isn't counting the decision as a loss, because it says Uber has agreed to be conservative with its expansion in the city.
De Blasio's proposal had met with much criticism. Many called it a political move due to the taxi medallion industry's significant contributions to de Blasio's campaign.

David Plouffe, head of Policy and Strategy at Uber, criticized the cap as a threat to drivers, potentially costing more than 10,000 jobs.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday that the government shouldn't step in to restrict job growth.
===========================
http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/22/tech...sio/index.html

BrownTown Jul 23, 2015 1:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrnyc (Post 7103078)
dont hold your breadth, but we have an opening date for the $2.4B single stop extension of the 7 train:

http://www.amny.com/transit/7-train-...015-1.10659941

We had one two years ago too...

volguus zildrohar Jul 23, 2015 2:51 AM

I've been pushing back my next trip up there specifically because I want check this out. I'm getting old here, MTA.

mrnyc Jul 25, 2015 1:34 PM

upcoming nj commuter woes from the ny daily news:


Opinion
Sandy Hornick: The N.J. commuter nightmare to come

SANDY HORNICK
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Today, 5:00 AM ET


Sometimes we can see problems coming at us like an oncoming train. When it comes to an impending crisis in trans-Hudson commuting, the only saving grace may be that the train could have a hard time finding a track on which to hit us.

Vice President Biden and Gov. Cuomo are scheduled to speak to the Association for a Better New York Monday morning to press for infrastructure upgrades in the New York region, including plans for a long-dreamed-of “train to the plane” to LaGuardia International Airport.

But as they champion that project, those taking the train to Newark Liberty International Airport — or, for that matter, commuting daily for work or anything else by rail between New Jersey and New York — could soon find themselves stuck on one of too many trains trying to use too little tunnel capacity below the Hudson.

Last fall, Amtrak announced that it will close, in sequence, the two tunnels used by Amtrak and New Jersey commuter trains underneath the Hudson River to repair them. Both of these Amtrak tunnels are more than 100 years old and were in need of inspection and repair long before they were flooded and badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy.

Closing the tunnels would mean that Amtrak and New Jersey Transit will lose 75% of their cross-Hudson capacity. Untold thousands of Amtrak riders and New Jersey commuters will likely resort to buses or cars, adding traffic to roads, tunnels and bridges that can barely handle the current load. It’s not rocket science to recognize that West Midtown streets do not have the capacity.

Commuters got a taste of the hell to come this week when problems with overhead electrical wires caused power outages in both trans-Hudson tunnels, causing horrific delays for tens of thousands of riders who were forced to improvise daily commutes into Manhattan.

Amtrak has correctly been focused on its Gateway project to add two new cross-Hudson tunnels and expand Penn Station to handle more trains, but this a $20 billion project that cannot be completed before the 2030s. Even just building two tunnels, Amtrak’s short-term goal, has a 10-year timeline and costs that appear unfundable.

We can’t wait more than a decade for such a solution to finally come to fruition.

There is an alternative. Treat this as the emergency it will soon be. Build a project that can be more easily financed: a one-track tunnel to provide capacity while each of the existing tunnels is taken out of service and repaired.

This way there would always be two tracks in service — and once repairs are complete, three tracks would be available to provide increased capacity and reliability.

To get a one-track tunnel done quickly, we’d have to expedite the often lengthy process by which infrastructure now gets planned in our region. The previously completed environmental review for the now-killed New Jersey Transit’s Access to the Region’s Core project could substitute for the need to undergo a new cumbersome federal environmental analysis.

There’s a risk to this approach. Once a single track is built to respond to the immediate crises, it may be more difficult to get funding for the rest of the Gateway project. But this pales in comparison to the risks of either not building the tunnel and losing cross-Hudson capacity, or building two tunnels and diverting money from other needed regional projects.

Adding a train to LaGuardia is important, but we can’t ignore the impending crisis facing commuters who must cross the Hudson each day. This disaster can easily be averted through American ingenuity and a little common sense.

For the sake of all of us living and commuting in the tri-state area, let us hope our elected officials demonstrate that ingenuity and common sense and add a sense of urgency — or we will suffer a commuting nightmare until that oncoming train can arrive.

Hornick, the principal of Hornick Consulting, Inc., is a former executive in the New York Department of City Planning.

NYC4Life Jul 27, 2015 7:47 PM

NY Gov details $4B overhaul for LaGuardia Airport
Reem Nasr | @reemanasr
44 Mins Ago

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/27/ny-go...a-airport.html

Quote:

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday a plan to completely overhaul LaGuardia Airport that comes with a $4 billion price tag for the first part. He made the announcement at a luncheon detailing new infrastructure plans for his state. Vice President Joe Biden was present at the meeting. (Tweet this)

Biden, who last year dubbed the Queens airport "a Third World country," fully supports the plan which will break ground next year. Total construction will take about 18 months, Cuomo said.

"It is actually happening," said Cuomo. "LaGuardia Airport is un-New York."
He said that approvals that would normally take years were expedited by the vice president's office.

The construction will create 8,000 jobs, Cuomo said. The overhaul will completely change LaGuardia's current design. Instead of a series of ad hoc terminals, the new airport will consist of one unified terminal that will have connection to mass transportation, including to rail and ferry.

The new airport will be moved about 600 feet closer to the Grand Central Parkway to create more space for flight operation, the governor said.

The vice president praised the governor's efforts to push the plan forward. "This is the greatest city in the world and it requires 21st century infrastructure," Biden said.
The plan to build a new airport could not be done without the full cooperation of Delta Air Lines since the airline privately leases its own disparate terminals on the site. The governor called the company "a great corporate citizen."

John F. Kennedy Airport will also receive improvements as part of the wider infrastructure overhaul. The airport will get its own new hotel, set to create about 3,700 jobs, Gov. Cuomo said.

The event is the vice president's second in New York state on Monday. Earlier in the day, the pair revealed the details about the siting of a photonics hub in Rochester at a news conference in Western New York.

In October, the two talked about plans to improve the region's airports and announce a design competition. In February 2014, Biden said if he blindfolded someone and took him to LaGuardia, he'd think he was in "some Third World country."

—AP contributed to this report.

NYC4Life Jul 27, 2015 8:02 PM

New LaGuardia Airport renders:

http://cdn.newsday.com/polopoly_fs/1..._730/image.jpg


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