WASHINGTON, D.C. – Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has faced heightened challenges from lawmakers the past few weeks on her agency’s failure to fund construction of a new Hudson tunnel — a failing piece of 100-year-old infrastructure connecting New York and New Jersey.
Rep. Nita Lowey called Chao’s plan to simply rehabilitate the existing Hudson tunnel “a non-starter,” and Rep. Donald Payne said the plan was “as bad as the president asking…if you could use the normal flu shot for corona[virus].”
“Secretary Chao’s plan for the Hudson tunnel is equivalent to putting a band-aid on a massive wound. That simply isn’t going to cut it,” said Lizzy Price, director of Restore Public Trust. “The American people deserve a real solution, not a temporary fix that will do nothing to solve this massive economic and public safety issue. Secretary Chao must stop playing political games with our country’s economy and approve the Gateway Tunnel project now.”
Secretary Chao’s favored proposal does not include funding to rebuild the Hudson tunnel, and instead calls for rehabilitating existing infrastructure that sustained serious damages during Hurricane Sandy. Experts have judged that the tunnel, which carries over 200,000 people under the Hudson River each day, could fail at any time, potentially blowing a $16 billion hole in the region’s economy.