Gateway Debate

The Story

New Yorkers are frustrated about President Trump’s apparent opposition to federal funding of the Gateway project, the new cross-Hudson rail tunnel. Though the latest federal spending bill includes some seed money for the project, much more will be needed to ensure safe, reliable train access into Manhattan from New Jersey. The New York area, however, has a poor record of delivering major infrastructure projects on time and under budget. It’s hard to blame the rest of the country for not rushing to pick up the tab when New York can’t get a handle on inflated construction costs driven by cronyism and union featherbedding. Gateway’s $30 billion price tag will surely rise once digging commences.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. East Side: The East Side Access project — providing Long Island Rail Road to eastern Manhattan — was supposed to cost $3 billion. It is now estimated at about $12 billion. Read more.

  2. Mall: The Oculus, a mall built on top of a rail terminus at the World Trade Center site, cost the Port Authority twice its estimated $2 billion price. Read more.

  3. Subway: Consisting of three new stops, the Second Avenue subway extension cost $2.5 billion per mile, by far the most expensive rail line in history. Read more.

“So many constituencies — from unions to politically connected companies and consultants — have their forks in the regional infrastructure pie that reform is rarely part of the discussion.”

Steven Malanga, Manhattan Institute George M. Yeager Fellow

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Construction Corruption By Steven Malanga (February 14, 2008)

“It will take more than one dramatic bust to clean up New York’s mob-plagued building industry.”


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