Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and NJ TRANSIT will hold two meetings on the Hudson Tunnel Project to build a new tunnel and rehabilitate the current, 106-year-old tunnel. The meetings in New York and New Jersey on May 17 and 19, respectively, are part of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) review process required by law. The FRA and NJ TRANSIT are leading the effort to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that evaluates the project.

The first meetings will be in New York City on Tuesday, May 17, and the second meetings will be in Union City, N.J. Both days will include an afternoon session from 3 to 5 p.m. with a brief presentation about the project at 4 p.m., and an evening session from 6 to 8 p.m. with a brief presentation about the project at 7 p.m. The public will be able to review Project information, talk informally with members of the study staff and formally submit comments to FRA/NJ TRANSIT (via a stenographer or in writing). The meeting facilities will be accessible to persons with disabilities. Spanish language translators will be present.

The Project will preserve the Northeast Corridor’s (NEC) Hudson River rail crossing between New Jersey and New York and strengthen the resilience of the NEC. The existing tunnel is used by Amtrak for intercity passenger rail service and by NJ TRANSIT for commuter rail service. It is a critical NEC asset and is the only intercity passenger rail crossing into New York City from New Jersey and areas west and south.

Service reliability through the existing tunnel has been compromised because of the damage to tunnel components caused by Superstorm Sandy. The storm inundated both tubes in the existing tunnel with seawater in October 2012, resulting in the cancellation of all Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT service into New York City for five days.

While the tunnel was restored to service and is now safe for travel, chlorides from the seawater remain in the tunnel’s concrete liner and bench walls, causing ongoing damage to the bench walls, imbedded steel, track and signaling and electrical components. Adding a new tunnel under the Hudson River will allow uninterrupted commuter and intercity rail service while the current, 106-year-old tunnel is rehabilitated.

The scoping meetings will be the first of several opportunities for public and stakeholder involvement in this critical project. Comments may also be submitted on the Internet, at www.hudsontunnelproject.com/contact.html, or in writing or by phone until May 31, 2016.

Additional information can be found at the project website, http://hudsontunnelproject.com