A new $16 billion rail tunnel will connect New Jersey and New York City

May 4, 2024

Construction on a new rail tunnel connecting New Jersey and New York is underway.

The $16 billion Hudson Tunnel Project is expected to boost the regional economy. Stephen Sigmund, chief of public outreach for the Gateway Development Commission, said right now the Northeast Corridor line, which carries NJ Transit and Amtrak trains, has only one track in and out of New York City. The new tunnel will add “two new tracks, new tubes, under the Hudson River to connect New York and New Jersey on that critical choke point.”

What the tunnel means for the regional economy

James Hughes, professor and dean emeritus of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, said the current Northeast Corridor rail line is not up to the standards of high-speed rail travel in Europe, but it carries more passengers between New York and Washington, D.C. than airlines.

“It is critical for moving people up and down the corridor,” he said. “So it is extraordinarily important to the regional economy; the regional economy is the largest part of the U.S. economy.”

He said the tunnel will allow for more mobility and convenience for commuters and “is vitally, vitally important.”

A report released at the beginning of the week by the Regional Plan Association finds that the Hudson Tunnel Project will generate $19.6 billion in economic activity and create approximately 95,000 jobs during its construction.

Hughes noted the specific impact of the number of jobs created and the amount of economic activity generated is always hard to predict, “but certainly it will be one of the largest infrastructure construction projects, perhaps ever.”

Sigmund agreed the project is vital because it gives Jersey residents easy access to “quality, reliable rail transportation, because so many people use it to get to and from their jobs and to and from entertainment.”

NJ Business Magazine, January 11, 2024

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