Passengers step off of an Amtrak train.

(Photo by Fred Blocher/Kansas City Star/MCT/Sipa USA)

Badly Needed Gateway Project Awaits Federal Funds To Move Forward

March 16, 2018 - 1:28 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Getting to work by train from New Jersey on Friday morning was a chore.

The Portal Bridge was out of service, forcing Midtown direct trains to detour to Hoboken where passengers had to take PATH trains into the city.

In addition to suspensions, delays, and cancellations on NJ TRANSIT, Amtrak had to cancel trains as well.

The bridge is 111-years-old, and was due to be replaced as part of the stalled Gateway Project.

It's just another reason why the new bridge and tunnels need to be built.

Amtrak's Tony Coscia said two simultaneous projects were going on.

"It still would have had that testing take place in pretty, sort of overnight hours, and then there was a power failure," Coscia said.

President Donald Trump has put the breaks on what is all but a done deal. Gateway Development Chair Steve Cohen said the project is on track with local funding. The federal portion awaits, but he said this can't wait.

"It does have to get done. Because you've got a certain need on the part of the economics of this country, the infrastructure of this country, and it can't be allowed to fail," Cohen said.

On Friday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo took to Twitter to take the Trump administration to task over infrastructure problems in the New York area.

"It is unconscionable that the President is trying to stop Gateway, the single most important infrastructure project in the country," he said.