Schumer Urges Amtrak and MTA to Address East River Tunnels

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On June 1, LIRRCC Chair Mark Epstein joined Senator Schumer to urge the MTA and Amtrak to repair the East River Tunnels using federal money. Five years ago Superstorm Sandy flooded two of these tunnels with fourteen million gallons of saltwater, destroying electrical components and accelerating the deterioration of the concrete walls. After all this time, the corrosive salt remains, continuing to threaten the intergrity of the tunnels.

“Not only do the tunnels carry about 300,000 passengers daily, the vast majority of them riding the Long Island Rail Road, but the tunnels also provide a crucial link to the Sunnyside Yards for Amtrak and New Jersey Transit equipment.” said Mark Epstein. “Loss of these tunnels would be an economic and human disaster for the region and a blow to the nation as a whole.”

Epstein continued, “The past few months have made it clear that Amtrak’s infrastructure needs in the region are far greater than those found in the East River tunnels, but we cannot afford to take our eyes off the ball, despite the other needs that Amtrak faces. We are grateful that Senator Schumer has continued his efforts to ensure that critical repair and restoration needs in the tunnels are addressed. Not only did he secure financing for this effort, he continues to ask the hard questions to press Amtrak and its partners to initiate this work as soon as possible, and for that he has the thanks of the riders who use these facilities twice every workday.”

In the Media:

Read the ABC7NY article here.

Read the CBS New York article here.

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