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Department Of Transportation Pulls Out Of Gateway Program

A New Jersey Transit train travels through the Newark Liberty International Airport train station in Newark, N.J.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has withdrawn from the group overseeing the $23.9B Gateway Program, which is set to double rail capacity between New York and New Jersey through a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River, an expanded Penn Station and new bridges that better connect Newark, New Jersey, and New York City.

Gateway Development Corp. received a letter on Friday from DOT acting general counsel Judith Kaleta announcing the permanent withdrawal from the corporation, which was established in 2015 and also comprises Amtrak and board members from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, am New York reports.

In the letter, Kaleta said it is not the DOT's standard practice to serve in such a capacity. A DOT spokesperson added that this was a procedural matter to avoid potential conflicts and ensure there is no appearance of partiality to this project versus hundreds of other projects nationwide.

The spokesperson added the decision was not indicative of the federal government's support of the project, which New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last month fits the criteria President Donald Trump talks about when it comes to public-private sector partnerships.