Construction Underway in NJ on Hudson Tunnel Project

Construction is underway in New Jersey on the Hudson Tunnel Project as work begins on the Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation Project. The announcement was made today by Gov. Phil Murphy, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg, the Federal Railroad Administration, NJ TRANSIT and Project Sponsor the Gateway Development Commission (GDC).

The Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation Project is a major early work component of Hudson Tunnel Project involving the relocation of utilities and the construction of a new roadway bridge for Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen. The new roadway bridge will be located immediately above a new future railroad right-of-way, which will allow for a connection to the new tunnel portal at the western slope of the New Jersey Palisades. It will also provide construction access between the staging sites on either side of Tonnelle Avenue, as well as access to the entry point for the Tunnel Boring Machines that will dig the Palisades Tunnel portion of the project.

This announcement is a significant milestone marking the Hudson Tunnel Project’s start of active construction on both sides of the Hudson River. Earlier this month, work began in Manhattan on the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing – Section 3, an essential right-of-way preservation project that guarantees the new tunnel’s connection to New York Penn Station.

“As we break ground on this side of the Hudson alongside our partners from Washington and New York, we edge one step closer to making our bold vision for the Gateway Project a reality,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “Since the outset of my Administration, we’ve worked tirelessly to deliver the world-class transportation system New Jerseyans urgently need and deserve. By undertaking the most important infrastructure project in the nation, we will generate good-paying jobs, support our growing economy, and promote safer more efficient transportation for residents and visitors alike.”

“After decades of delays, the Gateway Program is finally moving forward. The Hudson Tunnel is a nationally important piece of infrastructure and will bring millions of visitors to New York every year,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said. “I am proud of the work we have done with President Biden, Secretary Buttigieg, Senior Advisor Landrieu, Amtrak, and our partners in New Jersey to advance this project and I thank Majority Leader Schumer and the New York Congressional delegation for providing critical support.”

“Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we’re making a historic investment in New York and New Jersey infrastructure,” said U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “The Hudson Tunnel Project will have a profound impact, improving connectivity and relieving a bottleneck in the busiest region of the country, all while creating jobs and strengthening the local economy. I’m excited for construction to be underway in New Jersey on this much-needed project.”

Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Jennifer Mitchell said, “The Hudson Tunnel Project is vital to the region’s future and I commend the Gateway Development Commission and New Jersey Transit on the start of work. Under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are advancing it and other projects of national significance to deliver a safer, more efficient and reliable Northeast Corridor.”

In a joint statement, Alicia Glen, New York GDC Commissioner and Co-Chair, Balpreet Grewal-Virk, New Jersey GDC Commissioner and Co-Chair, and Tony Coscia, GDC Amtrak Commissioner and Vice-Chair, said, “Today’s groundbreaking is a testament to the unwavering commitment of so many to the most urgent infrastructure project in the country. We are proud to celebrate both this momentous occasion and the leadership that trusted us to make good on our promise to begin work on the Hudson Tunnel Project this year. But we will not rest now. The real work has just begun, and it cannot stop until we have delivered for the thousands of riders who power our economy every day.”

GDC CEO Kris Kolluri added, “Every New Jerseyan and every New Yorker will now see with their own eyes that we are building this vital tunnel. Today is a watershed moment, and GDC is grateful to the Biden administration, Governors Murphy and Hochul, Majority Leader Schumer, our entire Congressional delegation, and our Board of Commissioners for shepherding us through to this milestone.”

“This groundbreaking marks an important milestone for the Gateway Program. While our Portal North Bridge Replacement Project is 30% complete and proceeding at an incredible pace, the Hudson Tunnel Project is the most critical infrastructure project in the country given our region’s role as the center of global commerce,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “We are truly grateful for the federal government’s historic and unprecedented investment in our metropolitan area’s public transit infrastructure.”

Following a publicly advertised bidding process, the GDC Board made its first direct contract awards for work on the Tonnelle Avenue Project in September 2023. Naik Consulting Group, P.C. is providing expert professional construction management and related technical services for the Tonnelle Avenue Project, while Conti Civil, LLC is responsible for construction of the project. The Tonnelle Avenue Project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2025.

The Tonnelle Avenue Project is made possible by a $25 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, for which GDC was selected in June 2023.

In addition to the early work in New Jersey and New York, GDC has made significant progress in recent months to advance other 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 (FTA) Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.
  • The Hudson Tunnel Project was selected for an up to $3.8 billion grant from the USDOT Federal-State Partnership (FSP) for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program.
  • The Hudson Tunnel Project was selected for a $292 million US Department of Transportation MEGA Grant for upcoming work on the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing – Section 3.
  • The USDOT Build America Bureau is advancing applications for Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loans to support the Hudson Tunnel Project.
  • Five out of nine contemplated Hudson Tunnel Project contracts are in procurement or construction.

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