New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Now Law: Kean Bill Creating ‘Gateway Development Corporation’ to Build New Rail Tunnels to Manhattan

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s bipartisan legislation to establish the ‘Gateway Development Corporation’ has been signed into law. The commission will oversee planning, funding and construction of new rail tunnels and other projects that will double trans-Hudson rail capacity and provide one-seat rides to Manhattan on all NJ Transit lines.

Sen. Tom Kean’s legislation to establish the ‘Gateway Development Corporation’ has been signed into law. (SenateNJ.com)

“Constructing the Gateway Tunnel is critical to serving the growing number of New Jersey commuters, as well as creating jobs and securing long-term economic growth,” said Kean (R-21). “The Gateway Program will increase NJ Transit rail capacity to and from New York Penn Station by 70,000 riders a day and enable NJ Transit to provide direct one-seat rides to Manhattan, including on the Raritan Valley Line. I will continue to be a vocal advocate to ensure New Jerseyans have a dependable, affordable, and safe mass-transit service.”

Senator Kean’s legislation, S-3918/A-5570 represents a compromise between legislative and gubernatorial representatives of New Jersey and New York to create the Gateway Development Commission and secure government grants and loans to finance the proposed Gateway rail tunnels under the Hudson River.

Under the agreement, New Jersey and New York will each pay for half of the funding for construction of the new tunnel, reconstruction of the Portal Bridge, and the Hudson Yards projects.

The Gateway Program, previously called the Gateway Project, is the planned expansion of Northeast Corridor rail line between Newark Penn Station and New York Penn Station. The Northeast Corridor is the most heavily used passenger rail line in the entire country, with more than 2,000 trains per day carrying over 800,000 daily riders across eight states and Washington D.C, 200,000 of which utilize the 10-mile stretch of rail line between Newark and New York City.

In 2010, the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC), the predecessor project of Gateway, was cancelled due to escalating project costs. Under the terms of the prior agreement, New Jersey taxpayers would have been stuck with the full cost of any overruns. Furthermore, ARC would have brought commuters to a new station far from New York Penn and other transportation options.

“The launching of the Gateway Program represents a fair and equitable split of project costs between New Jersey and New York,” Kean added. “I commend my fellow legislators on the other side of the aisle as well as on the other side of the Hudson for reaching this critical point. I look forward to the historic day when the new tunnels open, ensuring reliable trans-Hudson transportation for decades to come.”

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