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news release

Newark , NJ

Contact: Dan Stessel

RELEASE: May 16, 2006

Governor Corzine makes Capital commitment for new Trans-Hudson commuter rail tunnel

Applauds united support from New Jersey and New York senators


(Newark)- Governor Jon S. Corzine today made a nearly $500 million transportation capital program commitment for the new Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel (THE Tunnel), reaffirming his determination to build the project that will double rail capacity between New Jersey and New York over the next decade.

" I first want to thank Senators Lautenberg, Menendez, Clinton and Schumer for their continued support of t he Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel project . This critical project will spur economic growth, reduce congestion and generate new jobs , " said Governor Corzine. "I have included $500 million for THE Tunnel in the Transportation Trust Fund to get shovels in the ground as soon as possible. This project is vital to the State's economic future , and I am committed to its timely completion."

The Governor appeared today with DOT Commissioner Kris Kolluri, Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia and NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington for the Governor's Annual Transportation Conference in Trenton.

"The Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel is the most important transportation project we've seen in a generation to ensure continued economic growth, not only for New Jersey, but for the entire region," Commissioner Kolluri said.

Shortly after the announcement, Senators Lautenberg, Menendez, Clinton and Schumer expressed their united, bi-state support for the project in a joint letter to Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.

"Our current transportation infrastructure will soon be unable to accommodate passenger rail demand for crossing the Hudson River," the Senators wrote. "Without timely completion of THE Tunnel, our region's economic health will be at risk."

"Under the Governor's leadership, we are moving beyond decades of talk and a decade of planning," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. "We are at the point where today we are pulling triggers to launch real engineering and real construction."

Speaking at today's event, Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia said he is committed to securing a multi-billion dollar investment in the project as part of the Port Authority's capital program.

"This project is the cornerstone of our region's future growth," Coscia said. "It is the type of project that only the Port Authority can facilitate and I am strongly committed to continuing to working with our state and federal partners to ensure its success."

Within the next two months, NJ TRANSIT expects to receive permission from the Federal Transit Administration to begin preliminary engineering on the project, awarding a contract as early as July. The preliminary engineering work will determine the tunneling technique, construction staging, property acquisition needs, utility relocation requirements and other logistical considerations.

Tunnel construction is expected to begin by 2009 with completion before 2016.

The project has broad support on both sides of the Hudson River from business, environmental, labor, transportation and planning organizations, including the New Jersey Alliance for Action and New York Building Congress. The project has also received support from city and state officials including Governor George Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg's Administration and, most recently, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

About the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel

THE Tunnel is the centerpiece of the Access to the Region's Core program, which includes a state-of-the-art two-track tunnel under the Hudson River (THE Tunnel), and a new rail terminal under 34 th Street adjacent to the current Penn Station. The program also includes new track capacity on the Northeast Corridor and a connection to rail lines serving residents of Bergen, Passaic, Rockland and Orange counties, giving customers in those counties a one-seat ride to Manhattan. Raritan Valley Line customers will also benefit from a one-seat ride.

By reducing constraints on the transportation system, THE Tunnel will have important long-term positive benefits for the economies and regional competitiveness of both New Jersey and New York. Increases in NJ TRANSIT service between New Jersey and New York will also yield economic benefits.

In addition, during the construction of THE Tunnel, New Jersey and New York will share economic benefits as a result of the creation of approximately 6,000 construction-related jobs each year. Construction will generate real personal income within the bi-state region in excess of $2.7 billion in 2004 dollars.

Today, roughly half of all Manhattan-bound commuters cross the Hudson River to get to work.

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  Last Updated:  May 31, 2006