Cross-Harbor Tunnel Initiative Gets Nod from NYC Officials

May 5, 2004

New York -- Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is pleased to announce that an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) released today by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in conjuction with the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Railway Administration confirms that a Cross-Harbor Tunnel would be extremely beneficial for New York City.

The EIS confirms that a Cross-Harbor Tunnel across New York Harbor from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to Bayonne, New Jersey will remove one million trucks from New York roadways and will have a benefit-to-cost ratio of 2.2 to 1, the highest ratio of any major transportation project currently under consideration in New York.

"I am very pleased that the EDC and federal agencies agree that a rail freight tunnel across New York Harbor will bring many benefits -- economic, environmental, and security -- to the people of New York," said Nadler, a member of the House Transportation Committee. "I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Committee to ensure that the federal government works with the City to invest in this nationally significant initiative."

Ninety-five percent of all goods destined for the City, Long Island, Westchester and Connecticut traverse the City by truck. This almost total dependence on trucks pollutes the air, giving parts of Manhattan and the Bronx the worst asthma rates in the world and congests New York streets. This dependency on trucks also adds greatly to the cost of street repair and increases the cost of doing business in our region as well as the cost of consumer products.

Nadler has been the leading advocate for the construction of a rail freight tunnel since he was a member of the New York State Assembly, citing that such a tunnel, which would divert freight from trucks to rail, would improve the environment and bring more jobs to New York City.

The EIS confirms that a rail freight tunnel will lessen the region's dependency on trucks, and notes that it would be economically beneficial to New York as jobs are created when freight is diverted from truck to rail. The Cross-Harbor Tunnel is also critical for the region's infrastructure. Because New York is so dependent on trucks, which cross the George Washington Bridge to bring goods into the City, Long Island, Westchester, and Connecticut, a terrorist attack on the bridge would have devastating consequences for the people of New York.

"A Cross-Harbor Tunnel would play a significant role in our economy, in our environment, and in our security," said Nadler. "I am thrilled that New York City and federal officials have taken this important step in seeing this project become a reality."