The first phase of one of the nation’s biggest mass transit projects is getting ready to begin. Construction on the Hudson Tunnel Project will start in the next few weeks, according to the Gateway Development Commission board, which approved a total of four Supporting or Executing Partner Agreements with both Amtrak and New Jersey Transit.
The board’s action comes on the heels of GDC’s SEP Agreement with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recently for services in support of the tunneling and heavy civil work, as well as with Amtrak for the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing – Section 3. It also approved an agreement with Amtrak for Package 2, which includes work on the tunnel and systems fit-out, and an agreement with New Jersey Transit concerns Package 3, which encompasses the tunnel’s New Jersey surface alignment.
With these four construction management agreements now in place, GDC has secured the organizational framework necessary to ensure each contract for the new tunnel is seamlessly executed.
In a joint statement, Alicia Glen, New York commissioner and co-chair, Balpreet Grewal-Virk, New Jersey commissioner and co-chair, and Tony Coscia, Amtrak commissioner and vice chair, said: “There is incredible momentum behind building this tunnel, because there is urgent need for it. The millions of commuters who power our region and our nation can’t wait any longer. Initial construction is beginning in both New York and New Jersey, but we cannot miss a beat. With these SEP Agreements, GDC and our partners are ensuring this tunnel is built as rapidly as possible.”
GDC CEO Kris Kolluri added: “The (President Joe) Biden administration, our governors, Majority Leader (Chuck) Schumer, our entire congressional delegation and our board of commissioners have entrusted GDC with the most urgent infrastructure project in the nation. We do not take this responsibility lightly. Today, we have set in motion construction that will not stop until the first train carries its first passengers through the new Hudson River Tunnel.”
The board was also updated on the continued progress toward early construction work in New Jersey and New York. The Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation Project, which will create a new roadway bridge located immediately above a future railroad right-of-way, received its “Notice to Proceed” last week.
In addition to authorizing SEP Agreements with Amtrak and New Jersey Transit, the GDC board passed a resolution authorizing GDC to adopt a Title VI and Nondiscrimination Program Plan, completing a critical federal civil rights requirement.
GDC has made significant additional progress in recent months to advance key elements of the Hudson Tunnel Project. Other major developments include the following:
- The Hudson Tunnel Project entered the Engineering Phase of the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants Program;
- The Hudson Tunnel Project was selected for a $292 million U.S. Department of Transportation MEGA Grant for work on the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing – Section 3;
- The USDOT Build America Bureau is advancing applications for Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loans to support the local funding share of the Hudson Tunnel Project;
- Five out of nine contemplated Hudson Tunnel Project contracts are in procurement or construction.