In Trenton this Wednesday, a joint legislative committee hearing will assess the status of ongoing repairs at New York Penn Station.

State Sen. Bob Gordon, D-Bergen, says 10 days into the repairs is a good time to take a look at how things are going. He says NJ Transit, Amtrak and PATH have been invited.

"I am confident that it will be a very productive hearing."

NJ Transit has been forced to divert the Morris and Essex Lines' traffic from Penn Station to Hoboken, and that has really disrupted the commuting patterns, according to Gordon.

"We are hoping to assess how well New Jersey Transit is handling the diversion of traffic, how has it affected commutes, are people still getting where they need to go? We recognize that there is considerable inconvenience during this construction period, but we want to see how well they are doing."

The State Senate Legislative Oversight Committee and the Assembly Judiciary Committee will be holding forth. Assemblyman John McKeon, D-Morris, says the clock is ticking for the completion of this work, and it is crucial to complete it by the end of the summer.

"It is one thing that in the summer, routinely, there are less commuters, where people make alternatives...they will work at home or they are on vacation, whatever it might be. As we all know, just experiencing on our roadways. But after Labor Day, we are back to the regular traffic pattern. These repairs have to be completed by then, and we want to make sure that the path is continued."

According to McKeon, the underlying issue is the need for another Hudson River rail tunnel.

"The bottom line to all of this is that we should be six months away from a third tunnel. And instead, and it is still speculative, we are at least 10 years away."

He says there has been some movement on the project by state officials in New Jersey and New York, but they need a stronger funding commitment from the Federal government.

The hearing begins at 10 at the State House Annex.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.


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