Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman John Degnan says federal backing is needed in order to advance a stalled Hudson River tunnel project from Amtrak that is being pushed by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Degnan responded to a July 27 letter from Foxx urging the New York and New Jersey governors to prioritize the project by emphasizing the importance of funding for the $14 billion initiative. The commitment so far pledged from the federal government for the Gateway project is only $3 billion, according to Degnan.

"If discussions aimed at furthering this project are to be fruitful, we need to better understand whether adequate federal funding can now be made available to move this project forward," Degnan wrote to Foxx in a July 28 letter. "A solution to this challenge requires both an intelligent engineering plan and a fair funding mechanism."

Foxx's letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie followed a series of delays experienced by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit riders in late July due to a power outage. Christie killed the so-called ARC tunnel project between North Bergen, N.J. and Manhattan in 2010 that had been favored by his predecessor Jon Corzine. Christie cited concern that it would be too costly to his state.

The Port Authority, which has jurisdiction for Trans-Hudson crossings in the New York City region, hosted a summit on May 7 that discussed ways to advance infrastructure planning for new tunnels. The Obama administration recently earmarked $185 million toward Gateway tunnel access under the Hudson Yards development in Manhattan, according to Foxx.

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