The New York City Cross Harbor Project, under the direction of William F. Rinaldi, will safely remove and properly reuse soil material from the Greater New York City and Long Island regions; quickly and efficiently transport the materials across the Hudson River via barges; and carry the materials via existing Norfolk Southern rail lines to Pennsylvania for beneficial reuse as part of a major mine reclamation project that will eliminate a significant public safety issue and improve the quality of life for Pennsylvania residents.
The New York City Cross Harbor Project will provide significant, lasting benefits for the residents of the New York City and Long Island regions. Through the increased use of barges and rail to transport the soil materials, it will significantly decrease highway congestion and air pollution by reducing the over-reliance on trucks to move the materials. If a mere 10% of intercity freight now moving by highway was shifted to rail, 2.5 million fewer tons of carbon dioxide would be emitted into the air annually. Additionally, if just 10% of the freight that currently moves by truck was diverted to rail, fuel savings would approach one billion gallons per year. Fewer trucks would translate into safer roads: a single 80,000-lb. truck creates the same damage to highways as 10,000 cars and, over a five-year period, accidents involving large trucks have claimed the lives of more than 25,000 people in the U.S.
Rail offers a safer, more economical, and more environmentally friendly mode of transportation of New York City’s and Long Island’s soil materials, but rail alone isn’t the answer. Presently, freight trains must travel some 150 miles north of New York City to Albany, NY in order to cross the Hudson River. It is time-consuming, inefficient and costly.
Not only does the Cross Harbor Project offer the fastest, cleanest, safest, and most economical means of transporting and properly disposing of New York City’s and Long Island’s soil materials, but the project also will promote partnerships with barge operators, trucking firms, labor unions, and others, which will lead to job creation and increased economic development for the region.
The New York City Cross Harbor Project will save the New York City and Long Island municipalities time and money and be beneficial to the regional environment.