Four alternatives for the enhancement of cross harbor freight service will be
evaluated by the EIS:
The “No Action” alternative represents the likely state of the region’s transportation infrastructure in the future without the project.
The "Transportation Systems Management" alternative provides a strategy to make the most of the current rail freight network with minimal capital investment.
The two “Build” alternatives represent strategies with independent utility, and an incremental approach to the development of a more effective rail freight network.
Environmental issues to be examined include:
- No Action—An analysis of current infrastructure and projects for which funding is committed (or likely to be committed) by public agencies or through private investment.
- Transportation Systems Management (TSM)—Manage the current transportation infrastructure more efficiently to accommodate demand. Emphasis is placed on operating improvements and strategic upgrades to critical bottlenecks along the existing freight system such as increased clearances to allow Trailer-on-Flatcar (TOFC) intermodal service to existing and planned East-of-Hudson rail yards. See map
- Expanded Float Operations and Associated Rail Improvements—Improve and expand capacity and level-of-service for both the railcar float system and rail yards, and potentially increase clearances to allow doublestack intermodal service. This strategy would likely include additional system improvements. See map
- Rail Freight Tunnel and Associated Rail Improvements—Construction of a rail freight tunnel under New York Harbor. Two alignments for a tunnel will be compared: (1) between Staten Island and Brooklyn and (2) between Jersey City and Brooklyn. Incremental system improvements beyond those of the enhanced float strategy that are needed to provide effective tunnel service for modern freight equipment will be included as part of this strategy. See maps
Other issues that will be assessed in the EIS include visual and aesthetic considerations, historic resources, archaeological resources, natural resources, navigable waterways, floodplains and coastal zone management, displacement and relocation, contaminated materials and parkland.
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