Hudson Tunnel project now estimated to create $19.6B in economic activity, nearly 100K jobs

Latest report by Regional Plan Association shows incredibly necessary $17B project will be boost for economy

The Hudson Tunnel project not only will upgrade a more than 100-year-old passage between New Jersey and New York — ensuring that one of the greatest flows of people and commerce continues for the next 100 years — it will be a massive economic multiplier in the region during construction.

A new report by the Regional Plan Association, released Monday, estimated the more than $17 billion project essentially will pay for itself, generating $19.6 billion in economic activity and creating approximately 95,000 jobs during its construction.

The job estimate represents an increase of 20,000 jobs over previous estimates.

The report utilizes research done on behalf of the Gateway Development Commission that found the three early works components of the Hudson Tunnel Project currently underway, which represent roughly $1 billion in awarded contracts, will yield 7,500 jobs and generate $625 million of labor income.

The new estimates of the project’s overall impact were obtained by extrapolating this analysis over the $16 billion in total construction spend for the Hudson Tunnel Project.

Kris Kolluri, the CEO of the GDC, said the impact already is being felt.

“The $1 billion in construction contracts we’ve awarded so far are already creating thousands of jobs and pumping millions of dollars into the economy, and that’s only the beginning,” he said. “Now, this report shows the overall impact of the project will be even greater than we thought, and that the Hudson Tunnel Project is a big win for the region and the nation.”

Tom Wright, CEO of RPA, agreed.

“The Hudson Tunnel Project is the most pressing infrastructure project of our time, and it will bring enormous benefits to our region and nation,” he said. “This new report emphasizes the broad economic benefits of the project, which are already being generated by $1 billion in early work contracts. RPA’s research has found that the economic ties of the region are strong, and that a reliable, 21st-century transportation system is essential to maintaining this connection.

“The Hudson Tunnel Project will set the stage for long-term economic growth by connecting more residents to jobs in the region and expanding the size of the workforce that employers can draw from.”

The authors of the report shared the enthusiasm.

“This is incredible news for our region,” they wrote. “The majority of direct jobs are for construction and will largely be filled by regional union workers, and the remaining jobs are positions created through direct and induced spending. This large number of jobs created by the Hudson Tunnel Project also means our region needs to prepare an adequate workforce to meet this demand over the 10+ year lifespan of the project.”

The project will be a big plus for union labor — which could create more jobs, they wrote.

“It’s clear the region will need to take proactive steps to make sure we have a skilled workforce to benefit from these new jobs,” the authors wrote. “The United States currently faces a shortage of construction workers, with more people retiring from the industry than those who are entering it. The Associated Builders and Contractors estimates there was a shortage of 650,000 construction workers nationwide in 2023, and that number is surely growing.”

Active construction of the HTP is underway on both sides of the Hudson River, at the Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation project in New Jersey and the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing Section 3 project in New York. When construction of the Hudson River Ground Stabilization project begins in July, more than $1 billion worth of construction activity will be in the ground.

GDC recently announced that it has submitted all documents required by the Federal Transit Administration to reach a Full-Funding Grant Agreement for $6.88 billion in Capital Investment Grants Program funding for the HTP, clearing the way for the HTP to secure all $16 billion needed for the project’s full delivery.

Read the full report here.