Amtrak has prepared an Environmental Assessment for the construction of an underground concrete casing (the “proposed Project”) to preserve a right of way (ROW) for the future expansion of rail service between New Jersey and New York and to support Amtrak’s efforts to improve rail system resiliency to future disasters in the Northeast Corridor. The right-of-way preservation is proposed at this time since a real estate development corporation, under an agreement with the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), is constructing a development in the area above Hudson Yards. This development (referred to as the overbuild project) has all necessary local and state approvals and started construction in the southern portion of Hudson Yards (south of proposed Project site) in December 2012.
Amtrak proposes to construct the concrete casing in conjunction with the overbuild project to preserve a viable location as an option for a future tunnel into Penn Station, New York. Once the real estate developer has built the immense foundations and platform for the overbuild project, it will be infeasible for Amtrak to construct a tunnel underneath the overbuild project. The proposed underground concrete casing involves construction of an underground rectangular structure that is 800 feet long, 50 feet wide, and approximately 35 feet high. Amtrak anticipates constructing the proposed Project using federal funding.