Trump, Cuomo agree on NY infra priority

President Trump and NY Governor Cuomo agree on Hudson Tunnel delivery; Amtrak to be sidelined; private sector role backed; tunnel to be separated from other Gateway projects

Governor Andrew Cuomo has held a press briefing on his meeting with President Donald Trump to announce what the pair discussed, and what they have agreed on. 

Cuomo stressed the most urgent needs are the Hudson Tunnels, which he said need to “break away” from the Gateway Project.

According to Cuomo, he and Trump are skeptical that government construction contracts could build the federal-owned tunnel between New York and New Jersey, and agree that the private sector must bid for it “internationally”. 

Cuomo added: “I worked with Amtrak to be charitable. I don't believe Amtrak is the best vehicle to manage this project. Amtrak is in the train operation business, that is a different business than the tunnel-boring business.”

They are proposing to set up a ‘streamlined’ corporation to manage the entire process with three representatives, “one from New Jersey, one from New York, one from the federal government”.

“I think it's fair to say that the president was receptive to what we were talking about and the president said that he wanted to take the next steps to find a way forward. And the next steps would include working with the federal government, primarily the Port Authority working with the federal government Department of Transportation to find out how we could get to the bidding process and give bidders the security to know that this is a project that is going and it's worth their time and investment to come up with bids so we have certainty to what the ultimate financial exposure is.”

Rick Cotton, Executive Director of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey accompanied Cuomo at the briefing.

The governor used the meeting to discuss the reconstruction of LaGuardia Airport. On Thursday, Cuomo, Cotton and Jane Garvey from LaGuardia Gateway Partners held a press conference at the airport to provide an update on how the project is progressing. Cuomo praised all the stakeholders involved and demonstrated how the project is a pathfinder for the US.