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Rep. Tom Malinowski. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Malinowski urges House panel to fund Gateway

By Nikita Biryukov, March 26 2019 12:48 pm

Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill) urged the House Appropriations Committee to fund the Gateway Tunnel Tuesday.

“If we fail to repair this vital transportation corridor in time, we’ll deal a crippling blow to the economy of my region and to the country,” Malinowski said. “Even a partial shutdown of the tunnels would disrupt not just passenger rail, but car and truck traffic up and down the east coast, making commutes virtually impossible for tens of thousands of people, diminishing property values, driving away businesses in one of the most economically vital areas of our country.”

The project, which would double the amount of trains able to cross the Hudson River, has been in a state of suspended animation for years as federal and state lawmakers jockey over the roughly $20 billion needed to fund the tunnel’s construction.

Lawmakers were able to secure $541 million in funding for the tunnel last March, but the budget proposal President Donald Trump released earlier this month included no funding for Gateway.

Malinowski asked the committee members to make it more difficult for the Department of Transportation to defer funding for the project.

“One of the nation’s most pressing infrastructure projects should not be stuck languishing on a desk at the Department of Transportation, yet that is where things stand today,” he said. “I don’t believe there’s much prospect of that changing in the coming months and that’s why I believe the responsibility is on our shoulders to ensure the Gateway Project, which is so vital to the region and the country, is not only funded, but built.”

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