„ The public body organizing the planned $16.1-billion Hudson River rail replacement tunnel project between New Jersey and New York City is revising its contracting strategy to promote a competitive bidding pool.
Gateway Development Commission said April 18 it is breaking up tunneling and related heavy civil works for the two-tube, 2.4-mile tunnel into four contract packages, each for a different section. The group previously planned to let all design and construction under one package.
Gateway is making the change based on feedback from contractors during an industry event in February and as part of refinements made with the Federal Transit Administration for a grant process. Kris Kolluri, CEO of Gateway, said in a statement that the new approach moves more complex early work forward in addition to breaking up tunneling work.
“The industry that will build the Hudson Tunnel project advised us that the best way to ensure a competitive bidding pool was to divide up the largest, most complicated portion of the project into multiple pieces of work,” Kolluri said. “We listened.”
The Gateway Development Commission — the bi-state agency overseeing the work — said some construction on the new tunnels started this year and they’re expected to open for service in 2035, roughly 12 years from now. That’s five years longer than it took the Pennsylvania Railroad to build the existing tubes, which were dug out from 1903 to 1910 without the help of modern tunneling machines. After the new tunnels are finished, the commission plans to close the existing tunnels one at a time — and expects to finish rehabilitating them by 2038. When that work is complete, officials say they’ll have the option to double the number of NJ Transit and Amtrak trains that run between New York and New Jersey.
The title “The Hudson Tunnel Project to be completed by 2026” is rather misleading as it only refers to the concrete casings in New York and New Jersey, not the actual tunnel which they say will start in 2025 but no completion year is given. In the article, it is stated “the entire project is expected to be completed in a decade.”