THE OMBUDSMAN ALERT: Fiscal Gate to Gateway Project Opens

BY DR. LOUIS ALPERT

ob2 ob1In this Ombudsman’s first article on the the massive $24 billion Gateway Project published on November 24, 2016, its title was “Rebuilding Our Crumbling Tunnels” and referred to the decrepit railroad tunnels built under the Hudson river more than 108 years’ ago and comprised the vital rail transportation links between New Jersey and New York City, essential to providing passage for many thousands of passengers to New York City, including a sizeable number of Rockland County commuters!

Our call was most prophetic since less than two months’ later in an article in Bloomberg titled “Port Authority Backs Funding for Long-Stalled Hudson Tunnel”, we first learned that that “The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey proposed a $32 billion capital plan for the next decade that includes $2.7 billion to build a tunnel under the Hudson river and rehabilitate the century-old one damaged by Superstorm Sandy”.

The article goes on to state “Today’s commitment to the Gateway project is by far and away the largest single commitment of financing to the Gateway tunnel.” said Port Authority Director Patrick Foye.

This column’s commitment is to press for the total commitment of $24 billion from the federal government as well as the states of New York and New Jersey, all three of which entities are responsible for the total funding.

In the Ombudsman’s articles in December, we informed our readers of the action taken by our County Executive to urge our incoming President Donald Trump to back the federal funding of this project. We are now reaching out to New York State Senator David Carlucci as well as Assemblypersons Zebrowski, and Jaffee to sponsor resolutions in both houses of our NY Sate Legislature to back the entire share of New York State’s commitment to this massive project.

The ultimate benefit to the Rockland County rail commuters who choose to travel on this side of the Hudsom to New York City will be a ONE-SEAT-RIDE right into a new and updated Penn station!

Please e-mail all of your questions and comments to: editor@rocklandcountytimes.com