U.S Department of Transportation drops out from $24 billion Gateway Program

Despite President Donald Trump's repeated commitment to build new infrastructure, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) withdrew its cooperation from a $ 24 billion large-scale transportation project between New York and New Jersey, As reported by New York Daily News.

The Gateway Program Development Corporation was considering proposing a new railway bridge, Portal North, in Newark, as well as a new tunnel under the Hudson River to replace the collapsing tunnel, which suffered severe damage from the hurricane Sandy. The program also sought to develop Penn Station and to build new bridges to better connect Newark, New Jersey and New York City. However, DOT informed the board of directors of Gateway of its withdrawal last Friday.

"It is not DOT's current practice to serve such capacity on other local transportation projects," read the letter to the board of directors of Gateway, which also includes Amtrak and board members Of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority as members.

Plans to build the new tunnel have been underway since the Obama administration, where an agreement was reached for officials in New York and New Jersey to take half of the costs while the federal government and Amtrak would undertake the " The other half. Trump also included the Gateway program in its list of "Emergency and National Security Projects," a list of approximately 50 national infrastructure projects that were first released in January by the Kansas City Star.

The bridge project was identified as one of the largest public transit projects in the Northeast, addressing the growing number of commuters in New Jersey and the deterioration of the region's infrastructure. The existing two-tube tunnel linking New Jersey and Penn Station to more than 200,000 passengers a day. If a tube fails before the construction of new tunnels, the capacity could be reduced by 75% according to Amtrak.

DOT clarified their withdrawal by stating that "the decision highlights the Department's commitment to ensuring that there is no appearance of bias or bias in favor of these projects in front of hundreds of other projects throughout The country, "in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.