Cuomo Letter to the Editor – New
York Times on Rail Tunnel
Governor Cuomo wrote a letter to the editor that appeared in the New York Times in response to an editorial suggesting that he is “not “on board” with a new Amtrak rail tunnel under the Hudson River.
In the letter he explains that he has said repeatedly that he vigorously supports the idea of a new tunnel and has expressed the desperate need for expediting its construction. He said he has even offered to help fund the tunnel and accelerate its review process.
He believes that a governor’s legacy is based on public infrastructure projects constructed during his or her term, and has demonstrated that by building more public works than any governor in decades. He also stated “I actually want to get the tunnel done, and that starts by overcoming the real obstacles to progress — and the primary obstacle is the federal commitment to fund this project.
This federal commitment is both necessary and appropriate because of the huge $20 billion price tag and the fact that this project is a national priority. This tunnel is critical not only to New Jersey and New York but also to Northeast corridor train service through eight states. Thus, getting the federal government to turn its rhetorical support into actual support is the essential cornerstone.
Washington’s only offer so far — of a partial loan — is not a viable financing plan and does nothing to make the project a reality. I am trying to hold the federal government’s feet to the fire and get a meaningful commitment in the form of federal grant dollars so we can actually make progress.”