NY Gov. Cuomo backs $31B to $55B Long Island Sound tunnel
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is moving forward with his plans for a $31.5 billion to $55.4 billion Long Island Sound tunnel between the North Shore of Long Island and Westchester County, NY, according to Newsday.
- Canadian firm WSP released the results of a feasibility study earlier this month and determined that the cost would vary depending on location and whether the tunnel has two tubes or one. WSP also forecasted that the tunnel would likely see up to 86,400 vehicles a day and collect more than $500 million in tolls annually.
- New York Department of Transportation officials said the agency will now examine the project from engineering, environmental, community and financial perspectives. The NYDOT has issued a call for experts to submit ideas about all elements of the project in preparation for a future Request for Proposals. However, Democrat Cuomo faces stiff opposition from the communities surrounding potential sites and from Republican lawmakers who have said the state has other transportation priorities.
Cuomo has been a driving force behind massive transportation projects underway in New York. After many derogatory comments and growing concerns about the aging LaGuardia Airport in New York City, Cuomo announced two terminal projects worth a total of $8 billion.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, as part of a more than $4 billion public-private partnership (P3) with LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP), is building a replacement of the airport's Central Terminal B. As part of its contract, LGP designed and financed the project and is now underway with construction. LGP will also operate the terminal after construction is complete.
Delta is also building a $4 billion terminal at LaGuardia. The airline is financing most of the construction; the Port Authority is paying for the rest.
Another New York City-area tunnel's problems are financial in nature. The New York-New Jersey Hudson River rail tunnel was damaged by seawater during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and Amtrak, part of the Gateway Program Development Corporation, said the proposed $13 billion replacement is critical. Project officials said they received a 50% funding commitment from the Obama administration, but the Trump-led Federal Transit Administration says there was no such agreement.
It's possible that the White House, which is reportedly advocating for a maximum federal contribution of 20% for many state and local projects, will hold the Hudson River tunnel to those terms.
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