John Porcari, Interim Director of the Gateway Development Corporation and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation, joined the GCA and over 150 participants in an informative and lively conversation about the status of the anticipated $24 billion Gateway Program.
One of the most exciting and critical infrastructure projects to be undertaken in the metropolitan region, Gateway will not only construct two new passenger rail tunnels under the Hudson, but will upgrade and ultimately expand virtually all the rail infrastructure between Newark and New York’s Penn Station. The $1.5 billion phase of the initial element, replacement of New Jersey’s Portal Bridge North, is slated for bidding in 2017. While the ultimate sources of funding for the overall project remains uncertain, Porcari noted that there are a host of options, including Railroad Rehabilitation Improvement Financing (RRIF) loans, passenger fees, and Federal Transit Administration New Start grants, as well as state participation from New Jersey and New York. Porcari noted his most immediate focus is on getting funding included in the upcoming federal budget—the last of President Obama’s administration.
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