Suozzi Backs $105B LI Sound Rail Tunnel
by Chris O'Neill
Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) has joined with 23 other Democratic House members (including Garden City’s Kathleen Rice) in urging creation of the North Atlantic Rail Corporation (NARC) which would receive federal funds to design, build, and oversee a high-speed rail project across the Northeast, including a rail tunnel under Long Island Sound.
The proposed project, which would replace replace most of the current Northeast Corridor, would include a tunnel from east of Port Jefferson on Long Island across the Long Island Sound to Milford / New Haven, Connecticut. The project has a price tag of $105 billion.
The plan seeks to capitalize on President Joe Biden's calls for up to $2 trillion in federal infrastructure spending and his ‘Amtrak Joe’ affinity for trains.
The plan would be expected to reduce travel time by rail between Boston and NYC by about half, from the current four hours to one hour and forty minutes.
Critics of the plan see it more based in politics than economics noting the region is already saturated with commuter lines as well as the possible environmental hazards of such massive new construction. Commentators have joked about underwater connections to Block Island, Provincetown and Bar Harbor.
A former plan, called NEC Future, which would have rebuilt large sections of the Northeast Corridor instead of replacing it, was abandoned by the federal government after opposition from local communities along the Connecticut River and in Rhode Island.
Lobbying efforts include a website created by advocates of the plan at https://northatlanticrail.org/