The civil works is the largest portion of the Hudson Tunnel Project, comprising the excavation and construction of a new tunnel under the Palisades in New Jersey and the Hudson River and connecting to Penn Station in Manhattan. The tunnel will be two tubes, each 3.86km long.

Following feedback from private sector contractors at a market engagement event in February, the GDC has divided the works into four contract packages rather than the one package previously planned.

The four packages are:

Package 1A: the portion of the tunnel through the Palisades to the construction shaft in Hoboken, New Jersey, which will be delivered via design-bid-build.

Package 1B: the section of the tunnel through the bulkhead of the West Side of Manhattan, under Hudson River Park and connecting to the new construction shaft between West 30th and 29th Streets, to be delivered via design-build.

Package 1C: tunnelling 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.

Package EA1: the Hudson River Ground Stabilisation package involves fortifying and stabilising the riverbed on the New York side of the Hudson River. It is an early work project, which is expected to start prior to the project’s full construction and will be delivered via design-build.

The GDC also plans additional early works for Package 1 projects including: the Manhattan bulkhead tunnelling work; excavation work near 12th Avenue in New York; and the Tonnelle Avenue area portal preparation work.

Packages 1A and 1B are scheduled to commence work in 2024 after a Full Funding Grant Agreement under the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grants Program is signed by the FTA and GDC. Package 1C is scheduled to commence work in 2025. 

GDC CEO Kris Kolluri said industry feedback indicated the best way to ensure a competitive bidding pool was to divide the largest, most complicated portion of the project into multiple pieces of work.

“By moving more complex early work forward, and making multiple packages for the new tunnelling 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.

The tunnel under the Hudson River will provide a new connection between New York and New Jersey. The project also involves refurbishing Amtrak’s existing 112-year-old North River rail tunnel, which was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor is the most heavily-used passenger rail line in the US.