Hudson Tunnel Project Groundbreaking in New Jersey

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Courtesy of Gateway Program

NEWARK, N.J. – State and federal officials announced the beginning of construction in New Jersey on the Hudson Tunnel Project.

New Jersey and New York Governors Phil Murphy and Kathy Hochul, respectively, Transportation Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg, and the FRA along with NJ TRANSIT and Gateway Development Commission (GDC) announced the beginning of construction in New Jersey on the Hudson Tunnel Project. According to the press release, the work begins with the “Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and utility Relocation Project” which 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, New Jersey. 

This new roadway bridge will be above a future railroad right-of-way, “which 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.”

The Hudson Tunnel Project has three major components: New, two-track Hudson River Tunnel that will be constructed between the Bergen Palisades in NJ to Manhattan, Hudson Yards Concrete Casing, Section 3 that will be built underneath Hudson Yards to allow trains to travel the new Hudson River Tunnel, and the North River Tunnel Rehabilitation, according to the Gateway Program. In November of this year, the project reached a milestone when work started on the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing – Section 3 which is a right-of-way preservation project that will guarantee the new tunnel’s connection to Penn Station. 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said: “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. . . 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.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said: “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. . . 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.” 

“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.” 

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.” 

Additionally, the GDC Board had made its “first direct contract awards for work on the Tonnelle Avenue Project in September 2023,” with Naik Consulting Group, P.C. providing construction management and technical services for the Tonnelle Avenue project and Conti Civil, LLC is responsible for the construction. According to the release, the Tonnelle Avenue Project should be completed by Fall 2025. The Tonnelle Avenue Project received $25 million from a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant from USDOT in June 2023.

Recent progress in both New York and New Jersey on the Hudson Tunnel Project includes:

– The Hudson Tunnel Project entered the Engineering Phase of the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants Program.

– The Project was selected for a USDOT Federal-State Partnership (FSP) for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant up to $3.8 billion.

– The Project was also selected for a USDOT MEGA Grant totaling $292 million for work on the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing – Section 3.

– The USDOT Build America Bureau is advancing applications for RRIF, or Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loans to support the Project.

– Lastly, five of nine contemplated Hudson Tunnel Project contracts are in procurement or construction.

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