The Gateway Tunnel Project Would Bring in Needed Jobs during Difficult Times

May 13, 2020

The long awaited Gateway Project still needs federal funding to move forward

The Gateway Project, the proposed expansion and renovation of the Northeast Corridor rail line between Newark and New York City, has never got rolling because of its 11 billion dollar price tag. But President Trump has hinted in recent weeks that it should happen.

Greg Lalevee is the business manager of the union that trains workers to do things like building tunnels. He says it would be a great job creator.

"There’s a ripple effect from a project like this that’s going to be felt up and down the supply chain far and wide from places that manufacture rails and railroad ties right down to the precast concrete that will likely be the sleeve. "

Greg Lalavee is the Business Manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 825
Credit Local 825

Lalavee says building a tunnel brings with it some unique problems.

"The one challenge that’s always there is the psychological challenge of working underground, no different than coal miners do. Somebody who might be working the day shift once we get to a certain point in the project is really never going to see the light of day."

He says the project would be a real motor for job creation at a time when millions are out of work.

Lalavee stresses the union has already begun training workers to be ready to go if that funding check is ever actually written.