September 2015

Over the past several years, more articles have been popping up on the Web about yet another asteroid potentially hurtling toward Earth with the potential to slam into it. Some of these are hoaxes while other stories talk of asteroids that are in reality millions and millions of miles outside of Earth’s orbital path around the sun, though that info is buried quite a ways down in the story, you know, to get you to read it.

But New York State has something real and similarly catastrophic heading its way in about two decades: the existing Amtrak tunnel connecting New York City and New Jersey is a century old and in disrepair … and Amtrak says it only has about 20 years left to “live.” So just as scientists across the world have been trying to invent a way to blast away an incoming asteroid, the feds are trying to come up with a plan to build a new tunnel, right? Well, not exactly, which is why Gov. Cuomo recently sent off a fiery letter to USDOT Secretary Foxx exhorting him to get thinking about funding this vital project, estimated to cost about $14 billion.

Trouble is, so far, the federal government has offered to contribute relatively little of the money for the project, putting the funding onus of New Jersey and New York. Thus the ire from the governor. The project, he wrote, is simply not viable without significant federal investment (and Gov. Christie agrees) and he’s right. This is the Northeast Corridor and it involves many states and many millions of people, not just from the northeast. If there’s a type of project that the feds should fund more than just 25 percent it’s this one. Let’s hope this happens. Approximately 200,000 commuters ride the train that runs through this tunnel every day. The area certainly cannot handle having all these people on the roads.

And just a quick reminder that this year’s N.Y.S. Highway & Public Works Expo will be held Oct. 21. in Syracuse. Look on page 64 for brief pictorial recap of last year’s expo. Also, in next month’s Superintendent’s Profile you’ll find a complete exhibitor listing for N.Y.S. Highway & Public Works Expo. Again, we hope to see you there.

You can also view previous issues of Superintendent's Profile.