Trump administration shuts down $13B Obama-era rail tunnel funding deal: report

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The Trump administration has shut down an Obama-era deal to have the federal government help fund a $13 billion rail tunnel project between New York and New Jersey, according to Crain’s New York Business.

In a letter obtained by Crain’s, an administration official calls the deal for the federal government to fund half of the project “non-existent.”

“Your letter also references a non-existent ’50/50′ agreement between USDOT, New York, and New Jersey. There is no such agreement,” Federal Transit Administration deputy administrator K. Jane Williams wrote in Friday’s letter, which came after New York and New Jersey requested federal loans to cover their part of the deal to split the cost of the work.

“We consider it unhelpful to reference a non-existent ‘agreement’ rather than directly address the responsibility for funding a local project where nine out of 10 passengers are local transit riders,” Williams continued.

The project would have funded necessary repairs to an Amtrak tunnel between New Jersey and New York City, as well as fixing a damage dual-tunnel conduct and rebuilding New Jersey’s Portal Bridge.

The federal government often helps to cover the cost of necessary infrastructure projects.

Gateway Development Corp., the group overseeing the project, called the letter “posturing.”

“We are confident that the Trump Administration will engage with us as the President turns to infrastructure in 2018,” the group said in a statement.

President Trump is expected to release an infrastructure plan in early 2018.



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