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Gateway poll: Overwhelming support for adding second rail tunnel under Hudson

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The Portal North Bridge.
The Portal North Bridge. - ()

Residents of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania support construction of the first projects in the Gateway Program — the Portal North Bridge and Hudson Tunnel Projects — according to a survey of 403 adults released Monday on behalf of Gateway Program Development Corp.  

Gateway is responsible for planning the estimated $20 billion infrastructure project, which will feature the first new tunnel to be built under the Hudson River in more than 80 years, and the first since the completion of the existing tubes in 1910 by the Pennsylvania Railroad.

According to the Gateway survey, more than 85 percent of respondents think it's "very or somewhat" important to add a second rail tunnel under the Hudson, and more than 80 percent favor the current projects to replace a 107-year-old Portal North Bridge — a one-track-in, one-track-out system — with a 21st century transportation infrastructure.  

The survey found that 85 percent of respondents support the states of New York and New Jersey, Amtrak and the federal government partnering to fund the Gateway project; 90 percent think a new rail tunnel is important to people being able to get to their jobs and conduct business; almost 80 percent think a new tunnel system would improve commuting and traveling between New York and New Jersey and on the Northeast corridor; 80 percent believe a new rail tunnel is important to housing prices in the region; 72 percent think the federal government should help pay for a new rail tunnel; more than 60 percent say delays have gotten worse in the last five years; and more than 60 percent worry about a failure or breakdown in the current tunnel.

Only 20 percent of respondents said they have heard of the Portal North Bridge project and just over 40 percent said they have heard about the Hudson Tunnel Project.

The survey was conducted Sept. 27-Oct. 1 by SurveyMonkey.

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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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