According to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), if plans for new trans-Hudson rail tunnels are not made final soon, the tunnels may become much more difficult to construct. According to reporting by Illya Marritz on WNYC (transportationnation.org), Schumer said that the problem lies in a new multiuse real-estate development, Hudson Yards, being planned for the west side of Manhattan on Long Island Rail Road property: Schumer said that Amtrak engineers have determined that the only practical route for the new “Gateway” tunnels would be under the LIRR property, and, he said, once the new buildings are being built, it may be impossible to route the tunnels under them. Schumer said that the Related Companies, builders of Hudson Yards, are prepared to cooperate with Amtrak and the federal government to coordinate the tunnel project, but since the new development will start construction by the end of this year, Schumer said that the window to coordinate may be as short as 6 months. Schumer pledged to seek federal funding for the Gateway project.
The Lackawanna Coalition believes that new tunnels under the Hudson will be essential for a rational regional transportation system, and that they should be built so as to afford maximum use by both NJ Transit and Amtrak, and eventual access to Manhattan’s East Side.