U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ-11) wants the federal government to back the Gateway Program and Hudson River Tunnels Project, according to a letter he sent to Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams.
Rep. Frelinghuysen’s letter was prompted by recent correspondence between Acting Administrator Williams and officials in New York state in which she did not recognize the 2015 funding agreement between New York, New Jersey and the federal government.
Rep. Frelinghuysen, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, which included $900 million for the program in its proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill this summer, wrote in the Jan. 4, 2018, letter that “there has long been agreement among federal, state and local officials that the Gateway project is an urgent national infrastructure priority.”
He continued, “I believe it is unrealistic for the Administration to expect the most important infrastructure project in the country to move forward without full participation and investment from the FTA and Department of Transportation.”
Rep. Frelinghuysen said pursuing Gateway was imperative to ensure reliability of service in an area that supports approximately 20 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.
He also notes that the rail project serves as a critical choke point for Amtrak’s entire operation on the East Coast from Florida to Maine.
Frelinghuysen concluded his letter by reminding FTA Acting Administrator Williams, “It is the responsibility of the House Committee on Appropriations to assure that such national priorities are met.”