By Larry Penner, RT&S Magazine; June 16, 2020
There is only $70 million for advancing an environmental study for the $10 billion (estimated) Cross Harbor Rail Tunnel within the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey 2017-2026 Capital Plan. This leaves a $9.930 billion shortfall to complete this freight rail project. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) continues to claim that there is real progress for his favored project. He has championed this as his number one transportation priority for 30 years. But after all that time, project is still stuck in the federal National Environmental Protection Act review process.
In theory, the Cross Harbor Rail Tunnel might move thousands of trucks on a daily basis off the roads and on to railroad tracks for portions of the journey between New Jersey and Long Island. Yet, it reminds me of the long-forgotten proposed tunnel between 69th Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and St. George, Staten Island. The concept was to extend subway service from Brooklyn to Staten Island. Ground was broken with entrances at both ends in the 1920s, but the project quickly ran out of money and was abandoned to history. Fast-forward almost 100 years later, and we have the proposed rail freight tunnel project.