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Governor Hochul Joins State and Federal Officials to Announce $6.88 Billion Full Funding Grant Agreement for Gateway Hudson Tunnel

Governor Hochul: “Today is a historic day. We have moved into places that others thought was impossible… Tunnels that were built in 1910, that were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, and people said, ‘Well, stuff happens, right?’ No. You find the investment, you find the partners, and you make $16 billion of investments happen.”

Hochul: “95,000 good-paying jobs for this region is phenomenal. To the men and women of labor, let’s give them a huge round of applause, because they’re the ones building back our region, one tunnel at a time. $20 billion dollars of economic impact. What does that look like? Oh, our local businesses are so excited about families having more money in their pockets.”

Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul joined state and federal officials as the Gateway Development Commission signed a $6.88 billion maximum full funding grant agreement with the Federal Transit Administration. The grant supports the Hudson Tunnel Project, which will build two additional tracks and rehabilitate the existing two tracks, resulting in four modern tracks between New York and New Jersey that create operational flexibility, rail network redundancy and resiliency against future impacts to the Hudson River rail crossing.

VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of the Governor’s remarks is available.

PHOTOS of the event are available on the Governor’s Flickr page.

A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:

I have a question for Majority Leader Schumer, if he’s still in earshot. What if we got up to 75-80 percent? Can we get a really big bag of cherries? I mean, I think that’d be fabulous. But no, I’m grateful to him. I want to say this: there are so many extraordinary public servants at every-level who made this happen. And to recognize that it starts at the very top — if you don’t have a President of the United States of America who’s committed to this, it doesn’t happen. So yes, we will give praise to President Biden. I think we give him a huge round of applause for not just loving Amtrak, loving trains, but being truly the embodiment of what an infrastructure president actually is and does. Let’s give President Biden a round of applause.

And this is about partnership. Don’t take for granted that it’s easy between two states. For example, we love New Jersey, New Jersey loves New York. But sometimes it’s like brothers and sisters. Anybody come from a big family? You know what I’m talking about. So, to pull it together, to say that, yes, there have been four presidents and five governors between our two states who just said, “It’s too hard, we can’t get it done” and moved on to the next crisis. Let’s give credit to the people behind our governors, those who make the magic happen.

And Phil Murphy, thank you. From our very first days in office — and I’ve been here just going on three years now — we said, “We have the power between us to work with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has dreamed of this day and made it happen” and people like Jerry Nadler and our congressional delegation.

But if the governors were not on board, my friends, we’d all be doing something different right now. So, Phil Murphy, thank you for the spirit of friendship that says we can sit around a table, we can collaborate, we can make the magic happen. So, thank you. And thank you to Kris Kolluri, this bi-state guy that we both love — you’ve done an amazing job.

Tony Coscia with Amtrak, we need your leadership as well. And also, to those in the Biden administration — yes, it’s our President, yes, it’s our Vice President — and Secretary Buttigieg, who came here many, many times. And yes, he must be on the phone with people from New York all day long, because he’s always talking to me as well, and the senator and everybody. We appreciate that level of engagement.

Also, to have someone like Polly Trottenberg right there as a leader. I want to thank you Polly because your voice on behalf of this region — and yes, the whole country — but you have made a profound difference as well. And I want to thank you for that. Veronica Vanterpool — again, New York is really in the house, isn’t it?

I mean, I — I’m really grateful that all of you know what we’re talking about. You know what we’re talking about. You know how critical this is. And so, you and your teams have made this happen. My team is extraordinary. My team, Kathryn Garcia — who would be here, except she’s across the great pond watching her daughter get married. We let her take a pass for that. But what she did — and her team and Commissioner Dominguez — Marie Therese Dominguez, our Commissioner of DOT — thank you. Thank you to everyone. And Kevin O’Toole and Rick Cotton, you guys do extraordinary work. You’re the unsung heroes who keep things moving in this region, and I’ll never take that for granted, so thank you.

Senator Booker, have a nice trip? Had to get on the road — I guess the senators are a little bit busy today. But also, to so many others — locally, Mark Levine is here. We have representation from the Deputy Mayor from the City of New York as well.

Let me just say this: today is a historic day. There’s no doubt about it. We have moved into places that others thought was impossible. We have seen this through, and what this says, is that New York and New Jersey — this region — still has the boldness, the audacity of visions where others do not. This is on the scale of the Erie Canal.

How many years, my friends? 200 years ago, next year. You need to get up and celebrate this. It is still an engineering feat that is revered around the world. That’s the scale of what we’re doing here. Tunnels that were built in 1910, that were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, and people said, “Well, stuff happens, right?”

No. You find the investment, you find the partners, and you make $16 billion of investments happen. And yes, I’ll say it again, because you heard it before — 95,000 good-paying jobs for this region is phenomenal. To the men and women of labor, let’s give them a huge round of applause, because they’re the ones building back our region, one tunnel at a time. $20 billion dollars of economic impact. What does that look like? Oh, our local businesses are so excited about families having more money in their pockets when times are tough that they’re going to spend on entertainment and restaurants and their kids’ education. That’s what economic development and money is all about.

So, I just want to say this: we have shown what we’re capable of here. We also have a President who invests in us. You heard it before, but this is the largest federal infrastructure investment — not just today, but in American history — and I’m going to put a little side note on that. New York is simultaneously benefiting from the largest private sector investment in American history with Micron. $100 billion dollars of investment going on just up the road. Again, thank you to the Biden Administration. Thank you to Majority Leader Schumer and his partners, Gillibrand and others, who’ve gotten this over the finish line.

So, sit back, everybody. Enjoy the magic of this moment because it may not happen again in your lifetime. This confluence — a president who gets it, who knows how to get things done and will continue to get things done — and also, partners and the leadership that we have, with the leadership at the highest levels in the Senate, and two governors who know what friendship and camaraderie and the spirit of cooperation can do for a region.

So, go forth, celebrate, honor this day, and know that you were all witnesses to history that generations will look back to with a sense of gratitude that says, “Yes, they continued that legacy of bold, audacious people from this region who would never take no for an answer.” Thank you very much everyone.

Albany New York July 8 2024

Sources: Midtown Tribune news , Governor.ny.gov
Big New York news BigNY.com


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