U.S. Markets close in 6 hrs 1 min

US funds to preserve space for NY-NJ train tunnels

NEW YORK (AP) -- An accessway that would be necessary for any project to build new train tunnels connecting New Jersey with New York City's Penn Station will be preserved thanks to $185 million in federal funding, officials announced Thursday.

The money, from the Department of Transportation's allotment of Superstorm Sandy relief funding, will go toward a concrete casement that preserves access into Penn Station, beneath the Hudson Yards project that's currently being built on Manhattan's west side, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood; and senators Charles Schumer of New York and Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey announced.

If the Hudson Yards project continued without the casement, officials said, it would block access for any new tunnel projects looking to serve Penn Station's existing tracks. The parties involved with the project are working with Amtrak to design the casements, the officials said.

While any train tunnel project has yet to be solidified, the officials said Superstorm Sandy showed the need to add to the region's transportation infrastructure. The storm flooded the two train tunnels that currently exist under the Hudson River, disrupting train travel throughout the Northeast.