The National Economic Impact of the Gateway Tunnel Project

Steve Adubato sits down with Jerry Zaro, Chair, Gateway Development Corporation, to discuss the Gateway Tunnel project and the economic impact the project will have, not only on New Jersey, but the nation.

5/11/19 #309






"Hi, I'm Steve Adubato. This is State of Affairs. We're coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV Studio in Newark. It is our pleasure to introduce Jerry's Zaro, Chair of the Gateway Development Corporation. Good to see you Jerry. Good to be with you. Love to talk about this Gateway Tunnel. What is it, why does it matter? And I'll tell you what, as we talk about it, we're gonna start showing some video that puts things in perspective. Talk to us, Jerry, what are we looking at right now? Well this is the condition of our 108 year old tunnel. It has outlived its usefulness, it's been ravaged by Hurricane... Tell folks where it is? ...Sandy. It goes from Weehawken under the Hudson River into Penn Station in New York. You get to it with the Portal North Bridge, also of that same vintage and Steve, to give you just some perspective, at the time we built the bridge, at the time we built the tunnel, electricity was in only 2% of the homes in all of America. Hmm. Now, it's everywhere. The Wright brothers were just launching their first plane, we send spaceships now to space. We had no infrastructure at that time yet look at all the advances we've made in these areas. Minimum wage was 23 cents back then. Look where it is today. When it was built? 1910. This issue is critical right now. We had senator Cory Booker... United States Senator Cory Booker, presidential candidate... Jacqui, help me... he called it... he said that this... one of these tunnels goes down. It is traffic Armageddon. Is that an understatement? Not at all this is... Or an overstatement? No, it's neither. It is... we are in the midst of a national disaster happening in slow motion. Someone might say, "Hold on, that's New York or New Jersey, it's not a nati... Gateway's not..." They'll say, "Gateway is not a national issue, Jerry". You say? That's totally false, because first of all, the Northeast Corridor runs from Washington D.C. to Boston. Every train that runs there goes over this bridge and through that tunnel. It is very much a national issue. In addition, trains that follow the Northeast Corridor, they go into Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, this is a national issue. And Steve, one other point on this, totally lost in the debate... these are federal assets. Amtrak owns these tracks, Amtrak owns this tunnel. So some could say, "Why are the states being asked to support a federal project?" Hmm. When in fact it's a federal project. Let's put this in perspective as Jerry makes... talks about the states New York and New Jersey, Governor Christie, former Governor Christie and Governor Cuomo..."