February 27, 2020

Watson Coleman Questions USDOT Secretary on Plans to Repair Hudson Tunnel

Secretary Chao Suggests that Hudson Tunnels Could Be Repaired While Remaining Open

Washington, D.C. (February 27, 2020) — Today, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) questioned Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s suggestion that the Hudson Tunnel could remain open during repairs in a hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Thursday morning. 

Prevailing opinions from transportation and infrastructure experts have long held that the tunnel would need to be closed in order to make the substantial repairs and refurbishments required after Hurricane Sandy and as the result of the tunnel’s age — one of the reasons urgent completion of the new Gateway Project tunnels is so critical. During the hearing, Chao highlighted the model used for repairs made to a New York City subway tunnel that remained open during work, presenting the possibility of repairs to the Hudson tunnel now and later addition of tunnels to expand capacity.

“The Hudson tunnel is vital to the communities in the region, vital to the local and national economy, and more — if there’s a way to make repairs without closing it, that’s tremendous. But we need details, and we still need new tunnels. We need both a fully functioning Hudson tunnel, and the expanded capacity that the Gateway Project would provide; any new DOT proposal cannot delay construction of those new tunnels.”


Click here to watch the exchange between Watson Coleman and Chao.