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LaHood Announces Major Investment In Gateway Rail Tunnel Project

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - An investment of $185 million is coming to help get Amtrak's Gateway project rolling, a project that is supposed to create a high-speed rail corridor to alleviate the bottleneck between New York and Newark.

"This [investment] will build the boxes that will become the jump start, the opportunity to build these tunnels," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Thursday.

The 800-foot long concrete casement would be built under the Hudson Yards development, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported.

LaHood Announces Major Investment In Gateway Rail Tunnel Project

Sen. Charles Schumer said they don't yet have the $15 billion needed to fund the Gateway project, which would follow a nine mile rail path from Secaucus to Manhattan.

"But if the buildings would've gone in without these boxed tunnels, we would never have been able to build new tunnels under the river," Schumer said.

Hudson Yards
Officials at the Hudson Yards site on Manhattan's West Side - May 30, 2013 (credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Because the existing tunnels flooded during superstorm Sandy, the money is coming from the hurricane relief fund.

"When Sandy flooded our tunnels, it exposed a fatal flaw in our already maxed out transportation infrastructure and demonstrated beyond a doubt that we need new flood-resistant tunnels under the Hudson River," Schumer said.

"We're planning for the future and this meets new resiliency standards," LaHood said.

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