New Hudson River Tunnel Financial Plan Lowers CIG Share, Rearranges Debt Burden

A few more details about the revised financial plan for the new Hudson River Tunnel project have come to light since the August 23 announcement that the estimated total capital cost of the project had dropped by $1.58 billion, from $13.70 billion to $12.13 billion.

The amount that project sponsors are requesting from the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program has dropped from $6.77 billion in last year’s plan to $5.34 billion in this year’s plan, a decrease of $1.43 billion. Project sponsors also said they will not ask for more than $600 million in CIG appropriations in any single fiscal year (though $600 million would still be almost twice as much as any other CIG project ever received in a single year).

In addition, the new plan includes, as a federal contribution, $153 million from Amtrak, for total federal grants of $5.49 billion.

The amount of additional federal aid that project sponsors request in the form of loans also decreases somewhat in the new plan, from $6.14 billion down to $5.96 billion. But within that total, the relative burden has shifted. The old plan had the Gateway Development Corporation taking on $788 million in federal RRIF loans, but that as been reduced to just $61 million under the new plan. New York, New Jersey, and the Port Authority collectively see the amounts of their proposed RRIF loans increase by $548 million.

The amount of local funding that would be provided during pre-construction and construction of the project has also dropped, from $794 million in the old plan to $675 million under the new plan.

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