The Gateway Development Commission (GDC) on May 2 held a Board of Commissioners meeting highlighting significant progress and early work beginning in 2023 on the Hudson Tunnel Project.
The GDC Board of Commissioners passed a resolution that finalizes the agreements between funding partners on the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing – Section 3, the vital portion of the Hudson Tunnel Project linking the new Hudson Tunnel directly to Penn Station New York, for which President Biden announced a $292 million MEGA grant in January. The resolution allows the work on the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing – Section 3 to now move into construction, which is expected to begin during 2023.
In addition, GDC also highlighted other early work projects for the new Hudson Tunnel beginning construction or procurement this year. Those include the Tonnelle Avenue Overhead Bridge and Utility Relocation Project in New Jersey, where construction is expected during 2023; as well as the Hudson River Ground Stabilization project and the construction of the Palisades Tunnel, where the procurement processes are anticipated to launch in the coming weeks.
“This is the year the Hudson Tunnel Project becomes real,” said Alicia Glen, NY Commissioner and GDC Co-Chair: “With early construction starting in both New York and New Jersey, we are telling the millions of riders who rely on this route that help is on the way.”
In addition to the early work, GDC Board of Commissioners were also updated on the overall progress already made on the Hudson Tunnel Project in the early months of 2023, including:
- Enhancing the Contract Packaging for the “Core and Shell” portion of the new tunnel, to provide a more robust and competitive pool of potential bidders.
- Ongoing engagement with the private sector, via a Market Sounding forum, and series of one on one follow up meetings that led to the contract packaging updates, and an event detailing and receiving feedback on those changes.
- Applying for substantial additional Federal grant funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program and Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program to help fund portions of the project.
- Applying for a substantial Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program grant available under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which would reduce overall costs of the project.
- Continuing to work hand-in-hand with the Federal Transit Administration to advance the project through the Capital Investment Grants Program process, to receive a Full Funding Grant Agreement for the bulk of the project’s Federal funding during 2024.
Lastly, the GDC Board of Commissioners passed several other resolutions to continue to build the capacity of the GDC and to advance the Hudson Tunnel Project. These include:
- Approving $2.5 million in available stipends for up to four (4) firms to bid on the Hudson Tunnel Ground Stabilization project, a common industry practice that encourages a more competitive and complete bidding pool and ensures the intellectual property of the bids belongs to GDC.
- Approving a schedule of GDC Board meetings for the remainder of 2023.
- Establishing Committees of the Board including Audit, Governance and Operations, and Project Delivery.
- Amending the Hudson Tunnel Project Development Agreement to incorporate a process for consideration of alternative technical concepts, amend the approval process for certain categories of deviations from design standards and specifications, and expand the membership of procurement evaluation panels.
The Gateway Program is the most urgent infrastructure program in the country – a comprehensive set of rail investments that will improve commuter and intercity services, add needed resiliency, and create new capacity for the busiest section of the Northeast Corridor (NEC). The NEC is the most heavily used passenger rail line in the country hosting more than 2,200 train movements and 800,000 passenger trips daily.