Every day, tens of thousands of commuters and visitors to New York City, as well as people traveling from New England to the Mid-Atlantic and Southern United States, pass through a tunnel that is partially located deep under the Hudson County communities of North Bergen, Union City, and Weehawken.
These two tubes that carry New Jersey Transit trains to communities all over Northern New Jersey and Amtrak service to cities across the East Coast date back nearly 110 years. However, as the tunnels continue to age, and as train delays along the Northeast Corridor continue, plans are once again advancing to build a new passenger rail tunnel under the Palisades and the Hudson River, seven years after the cancellation of a similar project and five years after Superstorm Sandy caused even more extensive damage.
Known as the Hudson Tunnel Project, this effort calls for more repairs to the existing tunnel along with the construction of two new tubes, tracks, three new ventilation shafts and two fan plants. One ventilation shaft and a combined ventilation shaft and fan plant would be located on Manhattan’s West Side, while another combined ventilation shaft and fan plant would be built adjacent to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail tracks off of West 18th Street in Hoboken.
A project rendering shows that a new tunnel portal would be constructed just south of the existing portal between Tonnelle Avenue and Paterson Plank Road in North Bergen. Then, the new tunnel would travel southeast under Union City before curving to the northeast near Willow Avenue in the northern part of Hoboken and traveling under the Hudson River to Penn Station.
Despite passing under several communities, the Gold Coast would not have its own commuter train station with service to Manhattan as part of the proposal. The tunnel would be built roughly 175 to 250 feet under Union City, while it would be around 80 feet below Hoboken, according to the project website created by New Jersey Transit and the Federal Railroad Administration.
Public hearings regarding the proposed new tunnel have already been held in Midtown Manhattan and in Secaucus. Now, one has been scheduled for Union City. According to the project website, the meeting will be held on Thursday, August 10th at Union City High School, located at 2500 John F. Kennedy Boulevard.
Presentations will be held at 3:15pm and 6:15pm, and input will be accepted from the public from 3:00pm to 5:00pm and from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, according to New Jersey Future. Comments can also be sent directly on the website or by email to [email protected].