Nadler on Mayor’s Tunnel Statement

Mar 2, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg backed away from his support for the Cross Harbor Rail Freight Tunnel at tonight’s meeting of the Juniper Park Civic Association.  Bloomberg had previously supported the project (documentation follows), which will build a rail freight tunnel from Jersey City to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, at last connecting New York City to the nation’s rail system.  Congressman Nadler released the following statement in response:

“In light of the City’s own findings that the Cross Harbor Tunnel will bring crucial economic, health, environmental, and national security benefits to New York, it’s disappointing that the Mayor feels compelled to back down from his full-on support of the project.  His public stance, however, is not a central force in its advancement.  The tunnel is primarily a federal concern, and the business of securing it is moving forward as it would otherwise.  The project enjoys the solid support of a broad, bipartisan coalition of elected officials and public interest groups.  There is a growing consensus that New York needs the Cross Harbor Tunnel, and I’m confident that everyone will agree on that in the end.”

Please find below statements from Mayor Bloomberg in support of the Cross Harbor Rail Freight Tunnel.

July 11, 2001 – “Issue Blueprint:  Untangling Traffic,” from his 2001 campaign website:

“A few weeks ago a coalition of former city transportation commissioners, business, civic, labor and environmental groups, coordinated by the Regional Planning Association, issued a thoughtful report, "Unclogging New York," with many recommendations that I endorse. They include a full-length Second Avenue subway, the Grand Central-LIRR link and a freight-rail tunnel linking Brooklyn and New Jersey.”

April 14, 2003 – Press Conference with Senators Schumer and Clinton:

"New York City needs to improve its rail facilities to offer a viable alternative to freight movement in all five boroughs. Because many roadways are already at capacity, and with freight volumes expected to rise more than 70% in the next twenty years, securing federal funding for a Cross Harbor Rail Freight Tunnel is a priority. I look forward to working with our Senators and Congressional delegation to secure this critical funding for the tunnel so that we may ensure the safe, efficient and environmentally responsible movement of goods through New York City's transportation network."

February 5, 2003 – The Mayor supported the Tunnel as a “Transportation Goal and Funding Priority” in the City’s white paper on transportation priorities for federal funding entitled, “Moving Forward: New York City’s Vision For the Reauthorization of TEA-21:”

“Improving Mobility:  Improve the safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible movement of pedestrians, goods, transit commuters and vehicular traffic on the streets, highways, bridges, rails, subways and waterways of the City’s transportation network.  Projects include installation of Advanced Traffic Control Devices, the placement of additional Traffic Video Cameras, and the building of a cross harbor freight tunnel to reduce the burden of truck traffic . . . Improved freight movement . . . continues to be critical in all of the boroughs of the City.”

The paper also noted the need for “rail freight tunnel as part of a National Strategy for Transportation System Redundancy,” and asks Congress to “Provide a separate funding mechanism for Freight Projects.”  The Mayor continues, “With much of the freight destined for the City entering via the George Washington Bridge, and with freight volumes forecasted to increase by 70% over the next 20 years, New York City needs to improve its rail facilities to offer a viable alternative for freight movement.  A dedicated funding program is needed to implement freight improvements because rail bottlenecks are often regional in nature.”'bloomberg%20tea21%20funding%20priorities'