Construction is getting one step closer to beginning under the Hudson River.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a tunnel that links New York and New Jersey just got major approval. The tunnel would be built under the Hudson River. This approval allows the project to advance. Plans for the project were initially submitted in 2016 with the goal of being completed in 2018.

The Wall Street Journal reports that on Friday, May 28, 2021, the federal government approved the environmental review of the $11 billion rail tunnel. This approval and review were previously stalled under the Trump administration. The Trump administration held up the project because of the complexity. However, the Biden administration supports the endeavor.

The $11 billion tunnel is part of a larger $30 B project called the Gateway Program, according to the Wall Street Journal. The project would double the rail capacity between Newark, New Jersey, and New York City. It would lay new train tracks, replace bridges, and expand Penn Station in New York City. The tunnel portion of the project would repair the century-old tunnel that already exists. This tunnel was severely damaged and flooded from Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, said, "This is a big step for the Northeast, and for the entire country, as these tunnels connect so many people, jobs, and businesses," in a statement when the environmental review was approved.

For the project, the next step is real-estate acquisitions, according to the Wall Street Journal. Other pre-construction steps still need to be taken before ground can break on the project. At this time, the anticipated end date for the project is unclear.

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