Trump kills $13B Obama-backed rail project on east coast

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Commuters from New York and New Jersey won’t be all too happy with the president Sunday as it’s been revealed that the White House pulled out of financing rail projects to improve Amtrak.

The federal government was to finance half of a $13 billion rail tunnel project, but on Friday the Trump administration said it will not support the Obama-era deal.

The plan, proposed under Obama in 2015, includes revitalizing a deteriorating Amtrak tunnel connecting New Jersey to New York City, repairing damage to a dual-tunnel conduit, and reconstructing the New Jersey railroad network’s aging Portal Bridge, Crain’s New York Business reported.

Amtrak, which owns most of the rail tunnels and tracks between Boston and Washington, D.C., contends that the existing tunnel connecting New Jersey and New York City is damaged and could fail within 10 to 15 years, threatening daily rail transportation in the Northeast.

The original Obama-era plan called for costs to be split among New York state, New Jersey and the federal government.

But in a letter Friday, the Trump administration notified New York and New Jersey that the Obama-era deal was now “non-existent” because the states recently requested that their portions be covered by loans from the federal government — meaning Washington would supply all of the initial funding for what the Trump White House is calling “a local project.”

The letter raises questions about whether the so-called Gateway project will be included in a $1 trillion national infrastructure plan that President Donald Trump is expected to unveil in January.

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