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Gateway Development Corporation reveals new NY Hudson Tunnel project details

The Gateway Development Commission (GDC) has released a revised procurement strategy for the multi-billion dollar Hudson Tunnel project that divides civil works into four construction contracts.

Instead of one big contract to build a new tunnel under the Hudson River, there will be four separate projects for engineering and consultant firms to bid on, the Gateway Development Commission announced Tuesday.

The Civil Works portion of the Hudson Tunnel Project, which includes the excavation and construction of a tunnel under the Palisades in New Jersey and into Penn Station in Manhattan, will be split into packages dubbed 1A, 1B, 1C and Contract EA1. Most are expected to start work in 2024, according to the commission.

Construction costs have ballooned, climbing to $16.1 billion, the Gateway Development Commission said in August —14 per cent higher than the 2021 budget. The start of major construction is now expected in mid-2024.

“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. We listened,” said GDC CEO Kris Kolluri, said in a press release

The four pieces include:

  • 1A: The portion of the tunnel through the Palisades to the construction shaft in Hoboken, which will be delivered via Design-Bid-Build.
  • 1B: The section of the tunnel going through the bulkhead of the West Side of Manhattan, under Hudson River Park and connecting to the new construction shaft between West 30th Street and 29th Streets, which will be delivered via Design-Build.
  • 1C: Including the tunneling under the Hudson River from the new construction shaft in Hoboken to the new construction shaft in Manhattan, which will be delivered via Design-Bid-Build.
  • EA1: An early work project that is described as a “Hudson River Ground Stabilization” package, which will help de-risk the full project by fortifying and stabilizing the river bottom on the New York side of the Hudson River. The work will create an improved condition in which to bore the new tunnel through the eastern portion of the Hudson River section of the project and will comply with all environmental regulations to ensure protection of the river, fish and wildlife. It will be delivered via Design-Build.

Packages 1A and 1B are scheduled to start in 2024; 1C is scheduled to begin work in 2025; EA1 is an early work project that will be completed prior to the project’s full construction.

The GDC says that this new schedule is a response to feedback from potential contractors.

“Advancing critically important parts of the project and developing contracting strategies with private industry that will ensure a competitive, qualified group of bidders, are key steps to staying ahead of the game, keeping the Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project moving forward, and delivering this project for the region and the nation,” said Balpreet Grewal-Virk, GDC co-chair and commissioner.

Officials expect the initial contract – the Hudson River Ground Stabilization Contract Package EA1 – will begin the procurement process in the coming period with a Request for Qualifications. The procurement for the Palisades Tunnel Contract Package 1A is expected to follow shortly after.

“By moving more complex early work forward, and making multiple packages for the new tunneling work, we’re taking an approach that will mean both that we are ready when the full project undertakes construction, and that we have the best in the business to deliver the most urgent infrastructure project in the nation,” Kolluri said.

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