Cantor: A cross-Hudson tunnel, over 30 years and counting

It is best when the vision becomes systematic. Although this vision has taken more than 30 years to change. This is how you can use Long Island Rail Road construction to move most of the coming and going areas and sell goods from Long Island Expressway to the LIRR line. This was the situation when I was serving as the Suffolk Regional Economic Development Officer and the Long Island Rail Road freight officer came to me with a vision to do just that.

At that time, and as it is today, the western United States and other foreign markets start west of the Hudson River in New Jersey. This forces motorists arriving east and west to intersect at the Cross Bronx and Long Island Expressways to continue their journey to and from Long Island, or if they are coming by rail, to board a boat across the Hudson River and then continue, or travel 150 miles north. from Long Island to the Selkirk hurdle, the Hudson River Bridge railway that runs through Albany.

The freight forwarder’s vision was to expand the LIRR freight forwarder, which could eliminate the hassle of boats or travel 150 miles just to bring goods to Long Island. He wanted to put trailers on LIRR flatbed trucks and take them down the Hudson River to connect with trucks in New Jersey that transport goods to the west. But as is often the case, there were some fish.

To achieve this the LIRR flats are able to carry trailers through the existing Hudson River. However, the canal roof was so low that it could not match the height of the floor and tires, and because the price of the new canal with a high roof was not even on everyone’s drawing board, the cargoer’s vision lowered the compound. height of flatbeds and carts. The idea was for a LIRR flatbed that would allow carveouts to rest on the wheels of his carts and thus reduce its combined length, allowing it to pass through the narrow Hudson River and connect with the international railway and highways west of the road. Hudson River from New Jersey. But this could cost money to buy new flatbeds for wheelbarrows and floor carriers. Vision of low traffic on the Long Island Expressway, traffic congestion, declining pollution and better transportation conditions on Long Island faded.

As recently as today, more than 30 years later, the portfolio of visionary supervisors is growing, and hopefully following suit. There is a way to build a Cross Harbor Freight with a railway line. We hope, to allow freight trains, such as the New York & Atlantic Railway, to transport trailers from Long Island, to Brooklyn, and down the Hudson River to New Jersey and to connect to the railway network with major railways or connect to tractors. to deliver trailers to the final destination.

This vision is now in the hands of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Expected to begin with a second natural review of the Cross Harbor Tunnel. One with a long roof. It’s time. The region cannot wait 30 years for the vision to come together.

Martin Cantor is the director of the Long Island Center for Socio-Economic Policy and a former Suffolk County Economic Development Commissioner. It can be reached at [email protected]

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