Fifteen senators demand timeline on Gateway Tunnel repairs from subagency of Chao’s DOT
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, fifteen senators sent a letter slamming the Federal Railroad Administration, an agency of Secretary Elaine Chao’s transportation department, for stalling critical repairs to the Gateway Tunnel, the more than 100-year-old passage running along the Northeast Corridor that experts have judged could fail at any time, and demanding a timeline for the remaining steps to complete the sub-agency’s review process. Restore Public Trust released the following statement in response:
“It’s time for Chao and the Trump administration to stop playing political games with our country’s economy and fast track the Gateway Tunnel project now,” said Lizzy Price, director of Restore Public Trust. “By stalling necessary repairs to the Gateway tunnel, which services a region responsible for 20% of the nation’s GDP, Chao is jeopardizing the country’s economy, not to mention the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people. Enough is enough. Chao must act now.”
The Gateway Tunnel is one of the nation’s most significant pieces of transportation infrastructure, carrying 200,000 passengers daily under the Hudson River. Chao’s failure to move on repairs to the tunnel — for which she has been repeatedly criticized — could blow a gaping $16 billion hole in the regional economy.
The letter follows similar complaints about delays on Gateway repairs from Representatives Mikie Sherill and Max Rose this week. In December, the Senate’s 2020 spending bill included language that would prevent the Department of Transportation from further stalling the project.
Last year, Restore Public Trust sent a series of FOIA requests to state and local transit agencies to uncover the truth behind Gateway Tunnel project delays as Secretary Chao fast tracked Kentucky infrastructure spending to benefit her husband, Mitch McConnell.