Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Congressman Jerrold Nadler announced on May 5th that “a major milestone” for the Cross Harbor Freight Movement Project had been reached. What could that be? “Issuance by the Port Authority of a RFP for consultants to conduct the Tier II Environmental Impact Study and complementary advanced planning and engineering work…The tunnel would run between an existing rail yard in the Greenville area of Jersey City to connect with existing rail infrastructure in Brooklyn. The Port Authority has committed up to $35 million for the study and has available up to another $35 million for further design and engineering.”
This project has been studied to death for more than a decade and this latest round of studies will come to the same conclusion as the previous ones: the project sounds good on paper, but actually is infeasible because it's too expensive, there are too many obstacles in the way, and of course, it won't come close to doing what the project pushers are claiming, which is to reduce truck traffic by increasing rail freight. What it would do instead is flood the streets of Brooklyn and Queens with thousands more trucks in order to spare Manhattan. An intermodal facility planned for West Maspeth would displace profitable businesses.
“I remain concerned about any plan that would increase truck and rail traffic through communities in my district,” said Congress Member Grace Meng. It is critical that this next phase of environmental reviews be conducted thoroughly and take all traffic issues into account. I will be watching the process closely.” As will we.