Shine light in the tunnel: Publish secret study on fixing Amtrak’s Hudson tubes and avoid Gateway’s waste

Daily News Editorial Board, New York Daily News
·2 min read

It’s nice to know that people see what appears here every day, including high officeholders. Regular readers are familiar with our ongoing criticisms of the $30 billion Gateway bridge-and-tunnel boondoggle, all of them based on unrebutted facts gleaned from thousands of pages of official documents.

There’s a cheaper, faster and smarter way to fix the Sandy-flooded Hudson tunnel and add passenger rail capacity. All we want is for sanity to prevail.

So we welcome Gov. Cuomo to our calls for the release of the secret report from London Bridge Associates. The Port Authority paid the experts $600,000 to examine whether Amtrak’s Hudson tunnel can be repaired nights and weekends — like was done at Cuomo’s correct insistence with the L train tubes — rather than having to build a brand new tunnel over a decade just to fix the old one.

We bet a billion it can be, actually $1.8 billion, which is Amtrak’s bloated price tag on a full gut rehab of the existing tubes that would close them for years, strip them down to the cast iron and rebuild them from scratch, including using the outdated 1910 bench wall technology of entombing electrical cables in concrete. That would follow construction of a new Gateway tunnel, price tag $9.6 billion, that nuttily would also use the archaic, and much more expensive, bench wall method.

All this while Gateway backers claim the tubes’ condition is an emergency.

Cuomo tweeted Friday: “The @NYDailyNews has been waiting for the Gateway Corporation to release the study on the Cross Hudson Amtrak tunnels. Release it and let’s discuss tunnel options and rehabilitation.”

The three-way Gateway Corp. also includes Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Amtrak Chairman Tony Coscia. They need to get aboard.

Anticipating the experts’ report, and seeking to undermine it, Amtrak has just issued its own study, which is basically a stall.

However, Amtrak does now finally admit that the 1910 tubes, which Amtrak itself let fall into disrepair even before Sandy, should be fixed nights and weekends. But they would only patch things for a dozen years. Why not make permanent repairs, saving time and money?


©2020 New York Daily News

Visit New York Daily News at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.