Construction of the Trans-Hudson Express (THE) Tunnel could be delayed by four to six months due to ownership issues regarding the properties on the West Side of Manhattan.

The port authority of New York and New Jersey pledged $3bn towards acquiring buildings and obtaining permission to bore under others. Its lawyers were negotiating with the city over how much public notice is required before the Port Authority can condemn the property it wants.

The required notice could affect the tunnel boring contracts for the 6.5km twin bore tunnels that were awarded in December and January. New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority awarded the joint venture of Barnard Construction and Judlau Contracting the $583M contract for the design and construction of the Manhattan side of the tunnel. PTP Contractors, a JV between Schiavone Construction, J F Shea Construction, and Skanska USA Civil Northeast was awarded the $271.7M contract for the final design and construction of a tunnel cutting through the Palisades between North Bergen and Hoboken.

Some local businesses objected to the taking of their property to build a train terminal that will be just a block away from Pennsylvania Station, Herald Square subway and the PATH train station. The new commuter terminal will sit more than 120ft (36.5m) beneath 34th Street and was not designed to connect directly to Penn Station or the subway.

The THE Tunnel, which broke ground last June, is scheduled for completion in 2017. The project is designed to double the existing trans-Hudson rail capacity from 23 trains per hour to 48 per hour. The US$8.7bn project is one of the biggest public works projects under way in the US.

The extra train service is expected to eliminate 22,000 car journeys a day.