The Gateway Development Commission (GDC) has announced two procurements today to construct the Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation, an early work component of the Hudson Tunnel Project.
The project will build an overpass to carry Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen over the alignment of the new Hudson River Tunnel. The project will be the first early work in New Jersey for the new Hudson Tunnel and the first construction contract managed by GDC.
The contracts announced today, which are being procured on behalf of GDC with the support of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, include an Invitation for Bid for a contractor to build the project and a Request for Proposal for Construction Management Services for a firm to assist GDC in oversight and management of the project (link: https://www.gatewayprogram.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/GDC-Website-Notice-Tonnelle-Ave.pdf).
The two procurements include substantial Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) components. The Construction Management proposals will only be considered from firms that qualify as SBE, and must include 25% of the contract go to DBEs. The Invitation for Bid requires proposers to commit to including 18% of the contract for DBEs. GDC said it intends to make SBEs and DBEs vital components of the overall Hudson Tunnel Project.
The announcement today comes just days after President Biden announced $292 million in Federal IIJA funding for the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing Section 3 early work element of Hudson Tunnel Project. Taken together, the two projects will mean early work on both sides of the Hudson River. Both are anticipated to begin construction this year.
“Following President Biden’s commitment of nearly $300 million of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funds toward early work on the Hudson Tunnel Project, today’s announcement could not come at a better time for New Jersey’s economic future,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “Progress toward the construction of the Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation represents a significant milestone for the Hudson Tunnel Project and the larger Gateway Program, the most important infrastructure project not just in the region, but across the country. My administration is especially proud that these procurements will have substantial SBE and DBE components, which is vital to ensuring that the benefits of this game-changing program are equitably shared throughout our region.”
“I am proud of the progress that the Gateway Development Commission has made to move this project forward,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said, “New York will continue to be a strong partner in making the Gateway vision a reality.”
“When it comes to digging a new tunnel, it takes two sides to tango – so I am very pleased we are now also moving forward on the Jersey side with bids to work on the Tonnelle Avenue portal,” said New York Senator Charles E. Schumer. “Two weeks ago I was pleased to bring President Biden to announce major grant funding on the New York side of the tunnel at Hudson Yards, and this announcement is yet a another signal that Gateway is moving full-steam ahead! I applaud the Gateway partners for continuing the momentum to get Gateway built.”
“It is incredibly exciting that early construction on the Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project will begin in both New York and New Jersey this year,” said Alicia Glen, New York Commissioner and Co-Chair of GDC. “Tonnelle Avenue is a vital component of the project, and a down payment to keeping us on time and on budget on the entire Hudson Tunnel.”
Balpreet Grewal-Virk, New Jersey Commissioner and Co-Chair of GDC, said, “Starting on Tonnelle Avenue, and moving toward real construction on the Hudson Tunnel Project on both sides of the river, is great news for the hundreds of thousands of riders who rely on this vital link. We’ll keep working with our Governors and our local and Federal partners to push the projects forward that make this Tunnel a reality.”
Tony Coscia, Amtrak Commissioner and Vice-Chair of GDC, said, “Building on the recent visit by President Biden, today’s announcement is a major milestone in delivering the most urgent infrastructure project in the nation. We know that even a planned shutdown of one of the current 113-year-old tubes would be crippling to the economy and to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, so we will continue to do everything we can to move forward in building a new tunnel.”
Kris Kolluri, Chief Executive Officer of GDC, added, “This is the year that the Hudson Tunnel Project moves from planning to execution, and starting work in both New York and New Jersey is the most tangible and visible demonstration of that fact. Vitally, GDC is demonstrating through these first procurements managed by the agency that we will ensure firms that are traditionally underrepresented in construction are a major part of the Hudson Tunnel Project.”
The Tonnelle Avenue right of way will connect directly to the opening for the underground portion of the Hudson Tunnel at the western slope of the New Jersey Palisades. The project’s funding is expected to be split between Federal funds, Amtrak, and the local project partners. GDC has applied for a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) grant for the Federal portion of the project and is continuing to pursue additional sources of Federal funding. Construction is anticipated to last approximately 2 years.
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