FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2017
Coalition for the Northeast Corridor Applauds House Appropriations Subcommittee for Including Critically Needed NEC Investment in FY 2018 THUD Bill
(Washington, D.C.) – The Coalition for the Northeast Corridor (CNEC) applauds the House Appropriations Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Subcommittee’s Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart for acknowledging the importance of Northeast Corridor infrastructure renewal by including $500 million in funding for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair grant program in the Fiscal Year 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. This $500 million could be leveraged (via State matching requirements) into another $500 million – bringing the total investment up to $1 billion.
“Getting this increase in funding through the subcommittee markup is the critical first step that multiple stakeholders have been working toward in bringing the Northeast Corridor to a state of good repair,” said Michael Friedberg, Executive Director of CNEC. “We are encouraged to see House appropriators prioritizing this important need, and hope that the rest of Congress and the Administration will do all they can to ensure these funds are included in the final FY 2018 appropriations.”
“Years of under-investment are adding up, and just in the past few months we’ve seen numerous incidents which nearly crippled the Corridor and negatively impacted the nearly 800,000 daily rail passengers and thousands of businesses serving this important economic region which supports 10% of the nation’s GDP,” added Steve Morrison of Siemens, and President of CNEC. “The bill for all NEC state-of-good repair needs is daunting—but this $500 million is a welcome step in the right direction. These funds will help avoid future failures, which not only impact the Corridor but have serious economic implications throughout the United States.”
According to the Northeast Corridor Commission, “The loss of the NEC for a single day could cost the country $100 million in added congestion, productivity losses, and other transportation impacts.”
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act authorized the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair grant program. The purpose of the grant is to reduce the state of good repair backlog on publicly-owned or Amtrak-owned infrastructure, equipment, and facilities. And repairing the NEC through this grant program must be a priority given its impact on the region’s—and the nation’s—economic vibrancy.
The Coalition for the Northeast Corridor (CNEC) is a multi-stakeholder coalition formed to advocate for increased infrastructure spending specifically on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.. The coalition intends to protect the job-creators, investors, and communities that rely on a vibrant interstate and commuter rail system between Boston, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. by informing and mobilizing stakeholders across the corridor, and by developing and advocating for solutions for the region’s growth. Members include Alstom, Drexel University, CH2M, the CEO Council for Growth, the Financial Services Roundtable, HDR, HNTB, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, the General Contractors Association of New York, Parsons, the Partnership for New York City, Siemens, the Regional Plan Association, the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, the Railway Supply Institute, and the Johns Hopkins University.