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Clock ticking on tunnels at major rail artery, Amtrak warns

A New Jersey Transit train travels east-bound in North Bergen, New Jersey, near one of the two commuter rail tunnels connecting New Jersey to New York.
Emile Warnsteker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A New Jersey Transit train travels east-bound in North Bergen, New Jersey, near one of the two commuter rail tunnels connecting New Jersey to New York.

The lifespan for the rail tunnels connecting New York City to New Jersey could be up in less than 20 years, creating a transportation crunch for one of the busiest rail corridors in the world, Capital New York reported Monday.

"I'm being told we got something less than 20 years before we have to shut one or two down," Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman said last week at the Regional Plan Association's conference. "Something less than 20. I don't know if that something less than 20 is seven, or some other number. But to build two new ones, you're talking seven to nine years to deliver, if we all decided today that we could do it."

The two rail tunnels under the Hudson River are more than a century old and were damaged by Super Storm Sandy in 2012. They are used by more than 160,000 passengers a day on trains operated by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit.

The most recent plan to build new tunnels under the river was spiked by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who cited cost overruns and the need to redirect funds to other projects such as the Pulaski Skyway vehicle bridge repair.

Read the full story at Capital New York.

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