OMBUDSMAN ALERT: TRUMP MUST HAVE “TUNNEL-VISION” TO COMPLETE GATEWAY PROJECT

BY DR. LOUIS ALPERT
RCT Ombudsman

In a series of five articles published November 24, 2016 though February 23, 2017 by this ombudsman, I discussed the vital importance of the Gateway Project to the economic vitality of our region, including its promise to deliver a “one-seat train ride” from Rockland right into Penn Station. The initial November 24 article was titled: “Rebuilding Our Crumbling Tunnels.”

One of the highlights of these five articles included the definitive statement of then President-Elect Trump’s transition team, which ranked as the nation’s top infrastructure priority the Gateway Project, which aims to both replace and rebuild two crumbling New York City tunnels.

Other highlights included the bipartisan group of New Jersey State Senators who sent a letter to President Trump urging him to fund this vital project as well as a similar letter sent from our local elected Assemblypersons Jaffee and Zebrowski at the request of this paper. Upon this paper’s further suggestion, County Executive Ed Day sent a letter to President Trump on December 19, 2016 urging him to support this essential Gateway Project, citing its critical value for the economic health of Rockland County and the surrounding NY-NJ Metropolitan Area.

However, the latest information on the critical nature of this project dwarfs all of the prior statements made in its favor, by establishing that without the completion of this $24 billion project there exists a strong possibility of the closure of either tunnel. The result would be devastating because it would “essentially shut down the Northeast Corridor, the transit route from Boston to Washington that produces over $3 trillion in economic input-a full 20 percent of the national gross domestic product.” (New York Times, 4-11-17)

The above-quoted statement was made by all four of New York and New Jersey’s US Senators; Schumer, Gillibrand, Menendez, Booker on that day! For all of the above reasons this Ombudsman urges all Rockland citizens to write to both their state and federal elected officials to strongly back this Gateway Project.

Please direct all comments and questions to editor@rocklandcountytimes.com.