Following Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s announcement that they were returning to England for Queen Elizabeth II‘s Platinum Jubilee, a photo of one of the…
Good news: President Trump and Gov. Cuomo, fierce political foes, met Wednesday to discuss a new train tunnel under the Hudson — and no one got hurt. Cuomo even called the meeting “productive.”
Bad news: The two likewise met last year to discuss the project, along with Jersey’s then-Gov. Chris Christie, and that sitdown was also “productive” — yet the project has since only gone backward.
Team Trump soon afterward made clear it wasn’t on board with an Obama-era funding deal, stalling the $13 billion tunnel.
That’s big trouble. As Cuomo noted, it’s “only a matter of time before we have a serious mishap” and lose one of the two tubes.
On top of normal aging (the tunnel marks its 108th birthday this week), both tubes suffered severe damage from Superstorm Sandy. Those problems regularly force an emergency shutdown of one of the two, and a nightmare commute for hundreds of thousands of riders.
And if either tube has to shut down permanently, say goodbye to up to 80 percent of rush-hour train service from Jersey to Penn Station and hello to a region-wide commuting catastrophe, with an ugly economic impact.
To move forward, Cuomo suggests restructuring the agency that oversees the project to include representatives from Team Trump, Albany and Trenton.
He also wants to see if bidders can offer prices lower than what Amtrak estimates. Both he and Trump, Cuomo says, must know “what we’re really talking about in terms of financial exposure.”
Fine. But the urgent need for a new tunnel was obvious years ago. The region needs a real plan — and real action — now.
Not a bunch of bickering as some rather high-ego guys rearrange the deck chairs of the project’s oversight, or endless buck-passing on just who’ll be on the hook for cost overruns.
It’s long past time for restructuring and refinancing. It’s time for a new tunnel
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