NEW YORK (PIX11) — The project to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River is about to enter the next phase of construction.
The federal government will now be covering more of the $16 billion price tag.
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was joined by Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to announce the plans.
An additional $3.8 billion will be covered by money from the Infrastructure Act, and 70% will be federal funding.
Construction workers were also in the audience on the job site along West 30th Street between 11 and 12 Avenues in Manhattan.
The project is expected to create 70,000 union jobs.
Senator Schumer brought some equipment.
“These are hard dollars that translate into hard hats,” Schumer said.
The new federal government funding brings the total federal money to more than $10 billion. Two new tracks will be built under the Hudson River, which will double the number of tracks under the river.
Transportation Secretary Buttigieg promises better commutes.
Project managers have said the timeline puts the first commute about 10 to 12 years away.
“The fact that you now have a federally fully funded commitment to advance the project as quickly as we can that’s a positive,” said Gateway Development Corporation CEO Kris Kolluri.
Amtrak Chairman Tony Coscia, who also serves on the Gateway project, as this will allow it to be more efficient.
The federal money allows the states of New York and New Jersey to reduce their contribution to the project to about 15% each. It had been half of the total.
“More federal money means the states have some concrete have to spend on other projects,” said Carlo Scissura with the New York Building Congress.
Some riders and neighbors came to the event to speak about expanding capacity within the station.
They say they support the tunnel and an idea known as “through running,” which is a different approach to moving and storing trains. It also requires infrastructure work.
“There is a better way to leverage what the gateway tunnels will bring us,” said Sam Turvey with ReThink Penn Station.
Crews are working on both sides of the river. The new phase on the Manhattan side will construct the third portion which will connect to the actual tunnel under the river.
Full construction could take another decade.