A $185 million, federally funded tunnel is being built on Manhattan’s West Side. Where does this expensive tunnel go? Well, right now nowhere. The tunnel is being built to lead to two new commuter rail tunnels that are not yet built, but may be in the near future.
The tunnel may go unused for a while and may seem like a waste of time and money, but there is a reason it had to be built now. Soon, several new skyscrapers will be built on top of the access tunnel. The tunnel had to be put in now if the city was ever planning to use the area underneath the skyscrapers.
The skyscrapers will be huge, some of them as high as 80 stories. Although it might be possible to build the tunnel underneath the skyscrapers after they have been built, engineers said it would be extremely difficult and costly.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is a major supporter of the tunnel and believes it will help protect infrastructure from future storms. He also said that it was necessary for the tunnel to be built quickly because the Hudson Yards developers were willing to delay building the skyscrapers for a few months, but not any longer.
“We asked them to delay months, but if we asked them to delay years, they may have said no,” said Schumer, referring to The Related Cos., the main Hudson Yards developers. “Sandy relief funding was there, available, the criteria fit, and the money was getting through quickly and fit the timetable.”
The tunnel is expected to be finished by fall of 2015 and will help accommodate the growing population in New York and New Jersey. There are already two tunnels that run between New York and New Jersey, but they cannot hold any more trains.
As of now, the trench is the only thing that Amtrak can afford to build in terms of the new railways. They are currently working with a $45 million budget but will need billions to complete the project.
How long do you think it will take to complete the new railway project?
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