Jeff Wood
Urban Reads

Trump Administration Denies Gateway Tunnel Deal

All the city news you can use.

By - Jan 7th, 2018 05:30 pm
Amtrak. Photo from Cory Booker's office.


Every day at The Overhead Wire we sort through over 1,500 news items about cities and share the best ones with our email list. At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and share them with Urban Milwaukee readers. They are national links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

Rejected tunnel deal: The Trump Administration has dealt a blow to a future Amtrak and transit tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey, denying funding from the federal government for the project. In a letter from the administration to New York state officials, the fact that most of the riders would be local was a factor in their decision. (Governing)

Detached from the Hinterland: Global cities are getting richer, and as they do a disconnect forms between the city and the surrounding environs. Hinterlands are often connected to the central city by way of commerce. However, as technology makes it easy to detach, global cities are finding themselves becoming an island. (Seattle Times)

Most expensive subway ever: Looking into the Long Island Railroad East Side Access project costs, the New York Times found a “a dizzying maze of jobs, many of which do not exist on projects elsewhere,” leading to extremely high construction costs. An internal report found that New York employs four times the number of people in Europe and Asia — which is upsetting, because there could be more projects completed for the same price. (New York Times)

Upzoning California: New legislation proposed by State Senator Scott Wiener hopes to increase housing production in California by upzoning properties proximate to frequent transit. The legislation would eliminate parking minimums and override existing zoning, but opponents are worried that single family homes would be wiped out. (Los Angeles Times)

Quote of the Week

Over time, facades became separated from load-bearing structures. They started acting like independent skins, subject to material, formal and technological experimentation. Today, architecture often boasts dynamic lighting that can transform physical appearance. The phenomenon is known as media architecture.

Neils Wouters in a piece at CNN discussing how we should think about regulating buildings to account for digital media.

Want more links to read? Visit The Overhead Wire and signup. (

Categories: Urban Reads

3 thoughts on “Urban Reads: Trump Administration Denies Gateway Tunnel Deal”

  1. Regarding “Rejected Tunnel Deal,” there are three points of real importance here. First, the construction of the tunnel had begun when recently elected Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey killed it for a narrow political reason, keeping New Jersey’s gas tax among the lowest in the nation. It is likely to be a classic example of something someone did years ago that had a major (negative) impact. Failure to build this tunnel will have major consequences for the Northeast and metropolitan New York long after Christie is happily forgotten. As they say on Wall Street, IBG/YBG, I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone.
    Second, the “local” argument is demonstrably false. This tunnel is – was – critical to the entire northeast corridor from Boston to Washington, not surprisingly, an area that is almost entirely Democratic in its voting patterns. Like many other things, this decision is an example of the increasingly blatant use of punitive politics to punish the coastal regions not under Republican control.
    Finally, we come to the Republican infrastructure plan, which this decision is actually a part of. As described by Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Transportation, and supported by the relevant committees in Congress, the focus of the Trump plan will be on Rural Infrastructure. Why build a tunnel serving 30 or 40 million people when you can spend the money on roads and bridges in Wyoming or “up North” in Wisconsin? Bad news for Milwaukee and other cities..

  2. will says:

    The little DOATARD and the GOP are at it again, bringing us back to the dinosaur age. Only the old corporation’s will benefit from the GOP. For the future is on hold till we remove them completely.

  3. TransitRider says:

    This rail tunnel under the Hudson River is the only direct route between NYC and Philadelphia; surprisingly there are just no expressways connecting them.

    Even though the largest two cities on the East Coast (with a combined population of over 10 million) are only 100 miles apart, there is no interstate highway or other expressway connecting them because New Jersey failed to build a major piece of I-95. Because of this, New Jersey’s I-95 simply doesn’t connect to Pennsylvania’s I-95 except via local roads (and stop lights).

    Today, the plan is to re-number another toll highway, I-276 (which connects to NJ’s I-95, but not Pennsylvania’s), to become I-95 and build a connector within Pennsylvania to link PA’s existing I-95 and today’s I-276.

    The financing for this project is novel. The project costs $650 million of which $200 million come from selling green cards to 400 rich foreigners for $500,000 each (the EB-5 visa program). Once again, highway costs are being subsidized by others.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us