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Gateway tweaks plans for bridge, tunnel construction after federal feedback

By , - Last modified: July 2, 2018 at 3:46 PM
The Portal North Bridge.
The Portal North Bridge. - ()

Gateway Development Corp. has submitted to the Federal Transit Administration a status update on the Hudson Tunnel Project, as well as an updated plan involving the local funding structure for the Portal North Bridge project.

Both submissions address feedback from the federal government, including a reduction in construction cost of the bridge, as well as identification of a project sponsor on the tunnel.

The updated plan for the Portal North Bridge Project was submitted by New Jersey Transit on behalf of GDC and the project partners. It includes New Jersey’s investment of up to $600 million funded through state-appropriation backed bonds, capital funding from the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund and other existing local sources. 

With 100 percent of the required local commitment, the FTA should return the project to a medium-high rating, allowing it to advance through the Capital Investment Grant Core Capacity grant program toward a Full Funding Grant Agreement, according to the GDC.

The updated financial plan systematically addresses questions raised by the FTA in previous submittals. It features a $33 million reduction in federal CIG contribution – from $844 million to $811 million – and $160 million reduction in the construction cost to less than $1.6 billion.

“We continue to work closely with the Federal Transit Administration, Federal Railroad Administration and other partners within the U.S. Department of Transportation to expedite these crucial projects and have worked hard to incorporate as much of their feedback as possible into this revised submittal,” Anthony Coscia, vice chairman of the GDC, said in a statement. “We’ve made tremendous progress on both projects and look forward to a Record of Decision on the Tunnel, specifically, so we can continue pushing forward to full construction and, more important, completion of these projects for the region and the nation.”

Because the partners intend for GDC to serve a lead role in the financing and development of the Gateway Program, including acting as a federal grant and loan applicant as well as NEPA project sponsor, the states of New Jersey and New York have committed to pursue legislative action in both states that will enable GDC to perform these financing and development functions for the Gateway Program.

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David Hutter

David Hutter

David Hutter grew up in Darien, Conn., and covers higher education, transportation and manufacturing for NJBIZ. He can be reached at dhutter@njbiz.com.

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