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Fed Transport Department Quits Board of ‘Gateway Project’—Will the Hudson River Crossing Between NJ and NY Collapse?

July 5, 2017 (EIRNS)—John Porcari, the executive director of the Gateway Program Development Corporation, has reported that the Federal Department of Transportation (DoT) has notified it, that it is withdrawing from the corporation’s board of trustees. This action highlights the question, whether the $24 billion Gateway programs, including a new Hudson River tunnel and the Portal Bridge work, to carry trains over the Hackensack River to get from Newark, New Jersey, to the Hudson, will be funded.

These projects are absolutely necessary, because the only Hudson River train crossing is 107 years old, and was flooded in 2012 with corrosive salt water by Hurricane Sandy. It is increasingly in need of repair, and Porcari reports that when one track is closed for repair, 75% of the train traffic under the Hudson is stopped. It is unlikely the tunnel will survive for the next ten years.

The DoT says that the withdrawal does not affect funding decisions, but was made to avoid an apparent conflict of interest in managing a corporation they are considering funding. But, the preliminary 2018 Federal budget released in May, did not include funding for the ready-to-go Portal Bridge North, and the DoT has delayed the planned release of the environmental impact statement for the Hudson tunnel.

All of this underscores the impossibility of completing the huge scale of work that must be done to maintain and upgrade the platform of the U.S. economy without the mechanisms for credit and production embodied in LaRouche’s Four Laws.