NEWARK — A $13 billion project to build a new rail tunnel into New York is scrambling to stay in the running for key federal funding as a July 14 deadline looms.

The federal Department of Transportation says the Gateway tunnel project is lacking some key components to remain in the pipeline for billions in federal grants.

Tunnel project officials sent a letter to the DOT Friday asking for an extension. A project spokesman says the project needs environmental approval by the DOT to go forward.

The DOT says the approval has been delayed by a dispute over whether the development corporation overseeing the project even had the authority to apply for federal grants.

If the project doesn't get an extension, it would delay the start of construction planned for late 2019.