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ARC: Critical to Build, A Struggle to Fund

moynihan station arc tunnels map Eliot Brown wrote an interesting story about the importance to build, and the struggle to fund, ARC (Access to the Region’s Core). The proposed tunnel would be the first built under the Hudson River since Penn Station was built. The tunnel would have clear transportation improvements:
Brown wrote that ARC is “the largest individual transportation project in the New York area by dollars, and would double the railroad’s capacity, allowing for 80,000 more riders daily, with a new river crossing and a fresh set of platforms by Pennsylvania Station.”
But it’s becoming more expensive:
A preliminary analysis by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) found the cost of the project was estimated to span from the $7.6 billion to more than $10 billion depending on a variety of potential roadblocks during planning and construction, according to a government official familiar with the analysis.
AMTRAK has apparently joined the advocates in arguing for a Penn Station connection:
The tracks would not connect to Penn Station tracks—a sore point for many transit advocates and Amtrak, which has criticized the plan for its lack of redundancy should something happen to one of the two tunnel systems. As the region and rail ridership grow, capacity could be better expanded with a connection between the two systems, those critics argue, though New Jersey Transit has said the connection costs would be prohibitive.
While Brown indicates that funding the project is challenging, it’s of national importance to complete the tunnel:
“The project is probably the most important public transportation project in the country,” James Simpson, the F.T.A.’s administrator, told The Observer. “The benefits accruing to New Yorkers and folks in New Jersey are so great that the project has to happen.”
Read “Billions Down The Tunnel!,” by Eliot Brown for The New York Observer Read ARC: 100 Years Later, An Attempt to Re-Conquer Gotham