Call for "Doomsday Plan" for Hudson River rail tunnels

Two Congressmen from the New York City area are calling for a "doomsday" plan to be formulated in case one of the train tunnels that connect New York City and New Jersey needs to be shut down.

Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (D,NJ) and Peter King (R,NY) will announce their new bill to demand an economic estimate and contingency plan.

The tunnels, officially called the North River Tunnels, carry 200,000 people daily on NJ Transit and Amtrak trains.  Closing one of the two tunnels would drop pear hour capacity from 24 trains to just 6 trains.

The more than 100-year-old tunnels and are crumbling after salt-water flooded them during Superstorm Sandy.

The Regional Plan Association released a “A Preventable Crisis,” a report last month outlining what it called the catastrophic economic consequences of a tunnel being shut down.  It estimated that a shutdown of the tunnels would cost the national economy $16 billion over four years.

The report claims that property values in New Jersey would plummet if there is a tunnel closure.  The report estimates that Essex and Union counties could see almost a billion dollars each in lost tax revenue, which is tied to property values.