Work to Begin on $8.7B Trans-Hudson Tunnel

Governor Corzine will be in Jersey City today to preside over the groundbreaking of a second trans-Hudson rail tunnel. Planners say it will revolutionize regional travel. WNYC's Bob Hennelly has this preview.

REPORTER: Over the last decade the number of commuter rail trips between New Jersey and New York has quadrupled. This exponential increase in trains New York bound all goes through one century-old tunnel. This means a log jam develops that adds major travel time.

The remedy, say planners, a second trans-Hudson rail tunnel dubbed the ARC, short for Access to the Region's Core. The ARC's price tag is $8.7 billion. Officials are in the process of acquiring the right-of-way and real estate for the project which includes a new rail yard in Kearney.

So far New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority have pledged almost $6 billion and are counting on the balance from Washington, something backers say the federal government is likely to provide. The project is expected to be completed by 2017. For WNYC in New Jersey I am Bob Hennelly.