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Sweeney in Wildwood

TRENTON – The New Jersey Senate today urged the federal government to accept a proposal by Governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo under which New Jersey, New York and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would pay for 50 percent of the $20 billion Gateway rail tunnel project if the federal government would pick up the other half.

The bipartisan resolution, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-Union), also endorsed the governors’ decision to have the Port Authority take a lead role in planning and funding the Gateway project. Gateway is designed to add two new rail tunnels under the Hudson, provide one-seat rides for commuters on all NJ Transit lines, and double New Jersey rail ridership to Manhattan by 2040.

“The federal government should act immediately to provide funding and expedite this vital project,” Senate President Sweeney said. “We have no time to lose. If one of the existing 105-year-old rail tunnels has to close for repairs before the Gateway tunnels are built, 150,000 rail passenger trips would be displaced daily. These rail commuters would be forced onto jammed highways, bridges, tunnels, overcrowded PATH trains and buses. The effects would be devastating. That’s why President Obama called Gateway the most important rail project in the country.”

“New Jersey residents and employers absolutely need this cooperative solution for a new Hudson River rail tunnel to maximize their opportunities and investments in our state,” Senate Minority Leader Kean said. “For years, we’ve been working to obtain this fair and balanced funding plan involving all stakeholders, and I urge federal officials to immediately sign off and let the building begin.”

The Senate passed the resolution by a 38 – 0 vote.