More than a decade in the making, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy kicked off the groundbreaking Thursday (Nov. 30) on the Gateway Tunnel project that will result in new rail tunnels connecting the Garden State to New York.
“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,” the governor added.
Busiest Section of Northeast Corridor
The new tunnels would create expanded capacity for the New York and New Jersey section of the Northeast Corridor, one of the busiest, exceeding 700,000 passenger trips daily.
The project will construct a two-way tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan, and rehabilitate the existing tunnel that is over a century old. Tunneling will begin in 2025 with the opening expected in 2035. Planning for the project began in 2010.
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.
Local, State, Federal Support
Aside from Gov. Murphy, the groundbreaking was attended by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg, Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Jennifer Mitchell, NJ Transit President CEO Kevin Corbett, and Project Sponsor the Gateway Development Commission (GDC).
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.
The New York Side
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.
“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.”
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:
➢ The Hudson Tunnel Project entered the Engineering Phase of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.
➢ The Hudson Tunnel Project was selected for an up to $3.8 billion grant from the USDOT FederalState Partnership (FSP) for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program.
➢ 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.
➢ The USDOT Build America Bureau is advancing applications for Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loans to support the Hudson Tunnel Project.
➢ Five out of nine contemplated Hudson Tunnel Project contracts are in procurement or construction.
About the Gateway Program
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