Rep. Mikie Sherrill and Rep. Josh Gottheimer urged the House Transportation Committee to move to fund the Gateway Tunnel Wednesday.
“The 110-year-old tunnels into New York City are literally crumbling,” Gottheimer said. “There is one track in and one track out. The Chairman of Amtrak said himself that one of the tunnels would likely have to be shut down within the next 5 years. If one tunnel does shut down, America would lose $100 million every day, according to the Northeast Corridor Commission.”
Both Gottheimer and Sherrill, a first-term congresswoman serving in a historically Republican district, campaigned on funding the gateway tunnel.
Politicians in the region have long advocated for Gateway funding, which they say is critical to the region’s economy.
“Every deferred decision on the Gateway Project means mounting delays,” Sherrill said. “It seems as though every few months, we read about a train stopped in the tunnel — or in October 2018, overhead power cables puncturing the top of a train car, stranding 1,600 commuters… I am on text chains with moms in my community who have been stranded, feverishly working to find someone to pick their kids.”
The two House members will return to New Jersey Thursday to tour North East Corridor’s infrastructure with the committee.
Though he’s allied with New York politicos on Gateway, Gottheimer took his opportunity before the Transportation Committee to take a shot at New York lawmakers over a congestion pricing plan they passed earlier this year.
The plan, which has yet to be implemented, could effectively impose a second toll on New Jersey commuters heading into Midtown south of 60th Street.
Gottheimer has lovingly dubbed his bill to stop congestion pricing the “Manhattan Moocher Prevention Act,” though its official name the Anti-Congestion Tax Act.
“That’s absurd double taxation at its finest,” Gottheimer said. “Even more galling, unlike the shared Port Authority resources from bridge tolls that help New York and New Jersey together, each nickel of the new congestion tax will go to New York, to their MTA, to help fix their subways — nothing to Jersey, nothing for our shared, cooperative relationship.”