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FEDS GIVE ARC TUNNEL RATING BOOST

February 5, 2008
NJT-08-012

NEWARK, NJThe Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today boosted its rating for the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) Tunnel project to “medium high,” improving the project’s rating and positioning for federal funding.

In its New Starts ratings report today, the FTA noted that the ARC Tunnel project has “put together an experienced design team and performed thorough analysis of project requirements.” The report also indicated that a final Record of Decision to advance the project is expected this year.

“This rating recognizes ARC nationally as a critical transportation project and demonstrates why it is important to have New Jersey's local funding commitment in hand,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine. “My financial restructuring and debt reduction plan cuts debt in half while providing necessary transportation infrastructure investment for a generation.”

“This is great news for New Jersey’s commuters—and for the future of our state,” Senator Frank R. Lautenberg said. “This tunnel will relieve congestion on our roads, grow our state’s economy and provide jobs for New Jersey residents. I am fighting to make sure federal agencies do not delay this important project and to help bring home the dollars needed to make this tunnel a reality. Today’s positive rating is a big step in our effort to finish the job.”

“Doubling rail capacity between New Jersey and Manhattan will help ease commutes, reduce traffic and provide substantial economic benefits for our state,” said Senator Robert Menendez. “With this announcement, we get one step closer to making this a reality, which is terrific news for New Jersey.”

“Today's news is another step in the right direction for making the new ARC tunnel a reality,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer. “This project is vital for giving New York and New Jersey residents another transit option and ensuring the competitiveness of the region.”

“ARC will enable NJ TRANSIT to serve more than a quarter of a million trans Hudson passengers daily – doubling the number of trains into Midtown Manhattan,” said New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri.

“ARC is critical for preserving our region’s economic growth, improving our mobility, and protecting our environment for generations. In fact, ARC is this generation’s George Washington Bridge,” said Port Authority of NY and NJ Chairman Anthony R. Coscia.

"ARC is a critical link to keeping New York and New Jersey growing and competitive in a global marketplace in the coming decades, and the Port Authority is completely committed to seeing the project become reality," said Anthony E. Shorris, Executive Director of the Port Authority of NY & NJ.

“With the FTA’s extremely favorable rating, we’ve taken a major step toward meeting the Governor’s goal of getting shovels in the ground next year,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard R. Sarles. “We appreciate Administrator Jim Simpson’s leadership and the FTA’s thoughtful and thorough work with us on this project.”

About Access to the Region’s Core

The ARC program includes two new single-track railroad tunnels between New Jersey and New York, additional Penn Station capacity under 34th Street in Manhattan, and signal and track improvements along and adjacent to the Northeast Corridor.

The project will allow for the introduction of transfer free rail service to New York on the Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley, Port Jervis and Raritan Valley lines, the Montclair Boonton line west of Montclair, North Jersey Coast Line south to Bay Head, as well as the Morristown Line west of Dover. It will also create the capacity for future rail extensions. The project includes expanded station capacity for New York Penn Station under 34th Street, with underground connections to several New York City subway lines (A, B, C, D, E, F, N, Q, R, V, W, 1, 2, 3, and PATH trains.)