The Gateway Development Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2023
GOVERNORS PHIL MURPHY AND KATHY HOCHUL, DEPUTY SECRETARY POLLY TROTTENBERG, THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION, NJ TRANSIT, GATEWAY DEVELOPMENT COMMMISSION ANNOUNCE HUDSON TUNNEL PROJECT NJ GROUNDBREAKING
Construction on Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation Project Joins Hudson Yards Concrete Casing – Section 3 in NY as Work Launches
NEWARK, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg, and the Federal Railroad Administration joined NJ TRANSIT and Project Sponsor the Gateway Development Commission (GDC) to announce the start of construction in New Jersey on the Hudson Tunnel Project as work begins on the Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation Project.
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, New Jersey. 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:
o The Hudson Tunnel Project entered the Engineering Phase of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.
o 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.
o 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.
o The USDOT Build America Bureau is advancing applications for Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loans to support the Hudson Tunnel Project.
o Five out of nine contemplated Hudson Tunnel Project contracts are in procurement or construction.
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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.
Additional Elected Official Statements
Senator Cory Booker said, "This is a day to rejoice for every New Jerseyan and every American as we enter a new era for the most critical infrastructure project in our country. Beginning active construction on both sides of the river for the Hudson Tunnel Project is testament to the collective determination—from the Biden administration and congressional leaders to state officials and other vital partners—to get Gateway done. The economy of our region and our nation depends on the Northeast Corridor and this project, which will modernize our mass transit, improve the lives of millions of commuters, and create thousands of good jobs."
Senator Bob Menendez said, “For more than a decade, no one has worked harder than I have to make Gateway a reality. From the earliest stages of the project, I’ve shepherded the Hudson River tunnels through the Capital Investment Grants process as a senior member of the Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over mass transit, and have helped to identify and secure billions of dollars in additional federal funding. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with former Gov. Christie when he canceled the precursor to this project and former President Trump when he did everything he could to delay Gateway for political gain. While I’m disappointed I’m not able to be there today due to pressing work in Washington, I’m proud to see my years of effort come to fruition as construction commences on the New Jersey side of the river. As we kick off this new phase of the most important infrastructure project in the nation, our job isn’t done yet. I won’t rest until the Gateway project is complete and New Jerseyans have access to the safe, reliable transit that they deserve.”
"This is a great day for New Jersey and the 10th Congressional District that I represent," said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr., Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. "We have waited for years to get the political and financial support to construct a new Hudson River Tunnel and repair the old one. I helped provide $66 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support projects like this one and worked with the Biden administration to make this project the country’s top priority. The new tunnel will increase speed and reliability for the 200,000 travelers who use the tunnels every day throughout New Jersey and the Northeast Corridor."
"Our nation’s most critical infrastructure project — the Gateway Tunnel — is the result of key federal funding delivered by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in strong partnership with the New Jersey and New York state governments. I was proud to support this historic legislation and will continue working hard to ensure that the entire Gateway Project is completed both quickly and cost-effectively to make New Jersey an even better place to live, work, and raise a family," said Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill
"After years of hard work, this is a huge win for Jersey to finally begin construction on the Hudson Tunnel Project — a key step to completing the Gateway Train Tunnel. This project is a top priority for the completion of the Gateway Train Tunnel and it will help residents spend more time with their families by commuting on faster, more reliable trains, create new jobs, and ensure Jersey’s economy is stronger and safer — by removing our reliance on decades old infrastructure plagued with bottlenecks and delays," said Congressman Josh Gottheimer. "Projects like this are exactly why I fought to help write and pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill — signed into law by President Biden — and claw back critically-needed federal investments back from Washington to Jersey."
"The start of work on the Hudson Tunnel Project in New Jersey is a significant milestone for commuters in the Eighth Congressional District and throughout the region," said Congressman Rob Menendez. "Under the leadership of the Biden administration and New Jersey’s Congressional Delegation, the Gateway Program has seen billions of dollars in new federal funding, bringing our residents closer to a completely revamped rail experience. I look forward to continuing our work to secure further transformational investments that will reduce commuting times and modernize our passenger rail infrastructure."
Congressman Frank Pallone said, "Gateway is one of the most important infrastructure projects in the nation, which is exactly why Democrats worked to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It’s great to see federal dollars deliver the funding necessary for this critical project. Today’s announcement is another step forward to ensuring long-term reliability for thousands of daily commuters traveling between New Jersey and New York."
Congressman Andy Kim said, "Nearly every New Jerseyan will benefit from the beginning of work on the Hudson Tunnel Project, and we should be proud to see this progress towards local infrastructure that our state desperately needs. During my first years in Congress, I heard repeatedly about the demand to get this project underway. It’s why I’m proud to have worked alongside my colleagues to make sure we secured the funding to get shovels in the ground and our neighbors to work. I’ll continue to make sure that we protect funding for projects like these moving forward so that we can celebrate more days like today when we make real investments in our state."
Congressman Tom Kean, Jr., said, "Today marks a significant milestone for a crucial component of the Gateway Program. I applaud the beginning of this phase, and in Congress, as I did in the State Senate, I will continue to provide all necessary support for the future of Gateway. Together we are working to usher in a new era of regional connectivity and progress. Our vision for the Gateway Program will continue to be bringing transformative 21st century infrastructure to New Jersey."
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman said, "The structural health, revitalization, and expansion of the Northeast Corridor's capacity through efforts like the Gateway Project is fundamental to the region's and the country's economic future. Millions of travelers and commuters rely on rail travel every year and the bottleneck created by the Hudson River crossing has been holding us back. No more. The commitment by the Biden Administration and Congress through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will insure safe and efficient travel for New Jersey commuters who will benefit from these investments for generations to come."
"Today, at long last, we commence work on the new Hudson Tunnel," said Congressman Bill Pascrell. "In Congress our state delegation has worked every day for years to secure the funding to reach this moment. Efficient mass transit is so critical to the quality of life in our great state. All of us know the completion of a new tunnel is essential to the future of New Jersey and our entire region. That bright future starts today."
"The start of the Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation Project as part of the Gateway Program is encouraging news for New Jersey and our entire region. This project will enhance safety, improve travel times, and create good-paying jobs," Congressman Donald Norcross said. "The Gateway Program’s investments in infrastructure will spur economic growth throughout New Jersey and the Northeast, and I look forward to its completion."
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust