Hudson Tunnel Environmental Review Released

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has published the Draft Environmental Impact Statement review (DEIS) for the Hudson Tunnel Project, which identifies the project’s preferred alternative, including constructing a new tunnel. The Final EIS is expected to be issued in March 2018. 

The FRA stated that the preferred alternative will meet the purpose and need identified for the Hudson Tunnel Project. The plan includes construction of two new rail tubes in a single tunnel beneath the Hudson River that can maintain the existing level of train service while the North River Tunnel tubes are taken out of service one at a time for rehabilitation. Once the North River Tunnel restoration is complete, both old and new tunnels will be in service.

The refurbishment of the existing tunnels and preserving the current functionality of the Northeast Corridor’s (NEC) Hudson River rail crossing between New Jersey and New York was also included. The existing NEC rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River, known as the North River Tunnel, is used by Amtrak for intercity passenger rail service and New Jersey Transit for commuter rail service. 

The DEIS reports that the preferred alternative may cost in the range of $11.7 to $12.98 billion, with the project sponsors responsible to identify their funding sources and plan.  

A comprehensive public comment period and public hearings will be held before the FRA finalizes the EIS and Record of Decision. The three public hearings are scheduled on August 1, August 3 and August 10.