About the Gateway Program
The Gateway Program would deliver critical rail infrastructure projects between Newark, New Jersey and Penn Station in New York City (“PSNY”), along the Northeast Corridor (“NEC”). The NEC is the most heavily used passenger rail line in the U.S., with more than 2,000 trains per day carrying approximately 800,000 daily passenger trips across eight states and Washington D.C.
It serves a region that is home to 17 percent of the U.S. population and 97 Fortune 500 company headquarters, and an area that contributes 20 percent of the national GDP. The NEC is a vital artery in the region and a critical element of the national transportation network, linking millions of people to good jobs, and connecting this region with the rest of the country.
The Gateway Program focuses on a 10-mile segment of the NEC, and includes a program of projects that would replace and update rail infrastructure assets that, in many cases, are over 100 years old, as well as increase track, tunnel, bridge and station capacity. This segment of the NEC carries over 200,000 daily Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT passenger trips on approximately 450 trains.
The Gateway Program’s first phase includes the construction of a new tunnel under the Hudson River, the rehabilitation of the existing tunnel, the completion of a concrete casing on the West Side of Manhattan to preserve right-of-way for the future tunnel to PSNY, and the replacement of the Portal Bridge.
Later phases of the Gateway Program would include the replacement of the Sawtooth Bridges on the NEC located between Newark Penn Station and Secaucus Junction, the expansion of PSNY in Manhattan, the expansion and modification of Secaucus Junction Station and addition of loop tracks (“Bergen/Secaucus Loop”) in New Jersey, the construction of Portal South Bridge, and other elements to complete a modernized, four-track railroad from Newark Penn Station to PSNY.
Portal North Bridge
A Gateway Program Project
The Portal North Bridge Project will replace the current, functionally obsolete Portal Bridge – a century-old two-track, railroad swing bridge spanning the Hackensack River between Secaucus and Kearny, New Jersey – with a new, high-level, two-track fixed span. The new bridge will increase rail transit capacity by an estimated 11%, and significantly improve service reliability by replacing the movable span, which interrupts operations and is prone to mechanical failures, and is the current cause of frequent delays. The Project is fully designed and permitted. Early construction work began in Fall 2017.
On June 29, 2018, an updated financial plan reflecting changes to the local funding structure for the Portal North Bridge project was submitted to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) by NJ TRANSIT, the Project Sponsor, on behalf of GDC and the project partners. It includes New Jersey’s investment of up to $600 million funded through state-appropriation backed bonds, capital funding from the NJ Transportation Trust Fund and other existing local sources.
A Gateway Program Project
The Hudson Tunnel Project is currently in the environmental review process, and includes two components:
- the construction of a new two-track Hudson River rail tunnel from New Jersey to Manhattan that will directly serve PSNY;
- and the rehabilitation of the century-old existing North River Tunnel, which incurred serious damage during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
The North River Tunnel is a critical link in the region’s trans-Hudson commuting system, and the Hudson Tunnel Project is urgently needed. A closure of just one tube could reduce capacity by as much as 75%, and force tens of thousands of commuters and travelers into other modes of travel, pushing them on to already congested bridges, tunnels and streets in both states. The resulting congestion would lead to massive degradation of air quality throughout the region, with the movement of people and goods to and from the nation’s largest regional economy becoming severely constrained.
When complete, the Project would allow for the rehabilitation of the North River Tunnel without disrupting existing levels of train service, and provide redundant capability and increased operational flexibility for Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT.
On June 29, 2018 a status update demonstrating continued progress on the Hudson Tunnel Project was provided to the Federal Transit Administration by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Gateway partners.
The Hudson Tunnel Project would complete and make use of the concrete casing on the West Side of Manhattan that is preserving right-of-way for the future tunnel to PSNY (“Hudson Yards Concrete Casing” or “Hudson Yards Box”). The first two sections of the concrete casing have been built between 10th and 11th Avenues. The third section will extend the casing through the western portion of the Long Island Rail Road’s West Side Storage Yard on a diagonal extending from 11th Avenue to 30th Street.
Click here to visit the Hudson Tunnel Project website.
A closure of just one tube could reduce capacity by as much as 75%, and force tens of thousands of commuters and travelers into other modes of travel, pushing them on to already congested bridges, tunnels and streets in both states.
About the Gateway Program Development Corporation
The Gateway Program Development Corporation (GDC), a New Jersey non-profit, was formed in November 2016 to oversee and deliver the Program. GDC works closely with stakeholders, including the United States Department of Transportation, Amtrak, NJ TRANSIT, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to advance this critical program.
This structure and the coordinated efforts from the Gateway Program’s stakeholders build on a call to action in November 2015, by former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer, Robert Menendez and Cory Booker. At that time, a framework was announced for advancing the Gateway Program, including the formation of GDC.
The Gateway Program Development Corporation (GDC) was established to oversee and deliver the Gateway Program, with support from federal and local partner agencies.
The GDC Trustees are:
- Steven M. Cohen, Chair (New York)
- Anthony R. Coscia, Vice Chair (Amtrak)
- Jerry Zaro (New Jersey)
GDC staff includes:
- Frank Sacr, Interim Executive Director
- Suma Mandel, Chief Administrative Officer
- Stephen Sigmund, Chief of Public Outreach
Click here to contact GDC.