Today, President Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded $292 million to Amtrak for the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing – Section 3 project in New York City as part of the nearly $1.2 billion from the new National Infrastructure Project Assistance (Mega) discretionary grant program. These projects are will create good-paying jobs, grow the economy, strengthen supply chains, improve mobility for residents, and make our transportation systems safer for all users.
“From the Hoover Dam to the Golden Gate Bridge, some infrastructure projects are so large and complex that they defy traditional funding systems—and so significant that they become iconic parts of the American landscape,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “After receiving over one hundred applications, we are proud to fund these nine infrastructure megaprojects across the country to create jobs, strengthen our supply chains, expand our economy, and renew America’s built landscape.”
The Hudson Yards Concrete Casing – Section 3 was one of nine nationally significant projects selected for this first year of the Mega Grant program. This grant will be funded over the course of four years from Fiscal Year 2022-2025.
This funding will cover construction of the third and final section of the concrete casing intended to preserve future right-of-way for the new Hudson River Tunnel and allow for the continued redevelopment of Hudson Yards. This is a critical piece of the larger Gateway Program, which will modernize this heavily used part of the Northeast Corridor, and a critical step towards creating a new Hudson River tunnel. Superstorm Sandy badly damaged the over century-old North River Tunnels, causing deterioration and leading to more frequent delays due to component failures within the tunnel. Once the new tunnel is built it will allow for work on the North River Tunnel to proceed with fewer service disruptions.
The Mega grant program, created by President Biden’s historic infrastructure law, funds projects that are too large or complex for traditional funding programs. Eligible projects include highway, bridge, freight, port, passenger rail, and public transportation projects that are a part of one of the other project types.
The Mega program will invest a total of $5 billion through 2026 to help rebuild the United States’ infrastructure for the benefit of residents now and for generations to come. For this application cycle specifically, USDOT received applications requesting approximately $30 billion in funding, far exceeding the $1 billion in 2022 funding available.
Applications were evaluated based on several criteria, including safety, ability to return transportation infrastructure to a state of good repair, economic benefits like the creation of quality jobs, and supply chain resiliency, environmental sustainability and climate resiliency, equity, and innovation. The Department also evaluated applications based on project readiness and cost-effectiveness.
Additionally, thanks to a new, streamlined application process, applicants for the Mega program were also able to use the same application for two additional grant programs: the Rural Surface Transportation Grant program (Rural) and the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program (INFRA). The Department announced INFRA and Rural awards in September and December of 2022, respectively.