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politics

Gateway Tunnel Dealt Another Blow With New Jersey Lawmaker’s Resignation

After getting snubbed by the Trump administration, Amtrak’s $13 billion Gateway tunnel is losing one of its chief backers in Congress too.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen

Photographer: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group via Getty Images

Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, the New Jersey Republican who used his powerful position leading the House Appropriations Committee to prioritize fixing the bottleneck under the Hudson River, announced Monday he planned to step down as a tough re-election battle loomed ahead.

Frelinghuysen, 71, had urged the Trump administration to support the effort designed to ease rail traffic connecting Northern New Jersey to Manhattan, describing it as "the most important infrastructure project in the country" in a letter to the Federal Transit Administration earlier this month.

The Trump administration said in late December it hadn’t agreed to pay for half of the project as envisioned during the Obama administration.

Supporters say the project is needed to avert a potential threat to the region’s economy in case the existing 100-year-old trans-Hudson tunnel, which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy, becomes unusable.

"Absent immediate action, conditions will continue to deteriorate leading to a potential disaster, putting passengers, and major commerce at serious risk," Frelinghuysen wrote.

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