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Cuomo Calls On N.Y. Congressional Delegation To Help Obtain Funds For Hudson Rail Tunnel

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday was keeping up the pressure in trying to obtain federal funding for a new Amtrak tunnel under the Hudson River.

As WCBS 880's Ginny Kosola reported, the governor rejected an offer for a federal loan. On Sunday, he talked about his call for funding before marching in the Dominican Day Parade in Midtown.

"I sent a letter to our congressional delegation and to our senators," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said he agrees with the federal government that there needs to be a tunnel. He said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie agrees, and both want federal money to build it.

Thus, he has asked New York senators and members of Congress to help.

"We'll build the tunnel. I'll go out there with a shovel myself," Cuomo said. "But we need the money."

In a letter Friday, Cuomo told U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx that federal law requires Amtrak to maintain the tunnels and that plans for a the new tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey are not ``viable'' without a ``substantial'' federal investment.

Cuomo said his proposed rebuilding of LaGuardia Airport will cost $4 billion, and the tunnel would cost $14 billion. He said the state cannot afford it, and a loan will not solve the problem.

Cuomo said Amtrak's northeast system will become "disabled'' without a new tunnel.

The discussion of a planned new tunnel came amid a spate of train troubles for NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak in recent weeks.

In late July, commuters and travelers dealt with more than a week of canceled and delayed trains, blamed mostly on equipment failure during some of the hottest days of the year so far.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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